Whitepaper: 05.03.2012

Double-Duty Critical Care

Expanding the busy Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego required careful planning to minimize disruption to patients and staff operations.

Scripps Health
Conrad Prebys Emergency & Trauma Center

San Diego, California

“Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego is designated as a Level I Trauma Center. This expansion is allowing us to further enhance our reputation as being a national leader in trauma and critical injury care.”
—Kirk Collins, project manager, Scripps Health

Marking the second phase of a four-phased, $41.3 million expansion and remodeling project, McCarthy has completed construction of the 13,500-square-foot addition to the emergency department and trauma center at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego. The addition doubled the size of the existing facility to encompass a combined 27,000 square feet of space.

Upon completion of the second phase earlier this year, Scripps Health officials held a dedication ceremony to rename the expanded critical care facility the Conrad Prebys Emergency & Trauma Center in honor of its largest donor.

Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego is the largest hospital in the county and hosts one of the busiest emergency centers in the region, accessible 24/7. Approximately 60,000 patients were treated in the hospital’s emergency department in 2011, averaging 164 patients per day. Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego also operates the busiest trauma center in the county, providing trauma care to more than 2,400 patients each year.

Phase one of the project, which McCarthy began in summer 2010, involved the relocation of utilities on Fifth Avenue to an area outside of the new building footprint. A portion of Fifth Avenue was realigned to increase the site area and allow for a patient drop-off parking area. Phase one also involved construction of a temporary lobby.

The phase two, 13,500-square-foot addition was performed by McCarthy on a compact, 18,500-square-foot site on the east side of Fifth Avenue, immediately adjacent to Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego’s existing emergency department. Construction of the single-level structure utilized drilled-pier foundation systems, with structural-steel building superstructure and plaster-on-metal stud-framed exteriors.

Once the emergency department and trauma division have moved their operations to the newly built space, McCarthy will begin phase three, entailing complete tenant improvement remodeling of the existing 13,500-square-foot critical care facility. The fourth phase will involve construction of a parking area across the street from the expanded facility.

When fully complete, the Conrad Prebys Emergency & Trauma Center will accommodate 49 beds – double the number of beds previously available. Four trauma bays will double the patient capacity of its current trauma center, accommodating up to eight people. A department-dedicated CT scanner adjacent to the trauma room bays eliminates the need to transport patients to the hospital’s radiology department. A dedicated telemetry system with continuous wireless monitoring capabilities allows staff to constantly monitor all patients. An in-house lab expedites test results for physicians and nurses so they can diagnose and treat patients as quickly as possible.

“Working within the constraints of the compact project site without interfering with the fast-paced operations of the existing emergency and trauma center presented significant challenges to workers at the site, who had to be prepared at all hours to respond quickly to matters as they arose, such as nighttime emergency helicopter traffic,” explained McCarthy Project Director Steve Van Dyke. “Throughout the project, we remained in close communication with Scripps Health officials to ensure that hospital staff was able to perform their jobs unimpeded.”

Project team consultants included Degenkolb as structural engineer, Latitude 33 as civil engineer, Syska Hennessy as electrical and mechanical engineer, and MW Peltz Associates as landscape architect.

Architect: HDR, San Diego

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