Innovative design: Lower Level unit to open February 2023

It’s no secret that our facilities are often full; more Iowans than ever need the care only UI Health Care can provide.

To help free up additional space for the patients who need us most, a new unit is being constructed to improve efficiency, optimize the throughput process, and expand capacity, ultimately decreasing the pressures and demand for inpatient beds.

Digital rendering of a patient waiting room.

With the goal of freeing up additional inpatient bed capacity, a new care unit for medical observation and surgical recovery is slated to open in February 2023. The digital rendering above represents what the new unit’s waiting room may look like.

The new care unit for medical observation and surgical recovery patients is slated to open on Lower Level of the John Colloton Pavilion (JCP) in February 2023.

“Most importantly, moving our observation and recovery patients to the new unit will open up more inpatient beds and allow us to care for more Iowans who need us,” says Emily Ward, BSN, RN, MBA, associate chief nurse executive.

Innovations in lighting improve patient experience

The new unit may be planned for the Lower Level, but the patient experience is expected to be top-notch.

How? Innovations in partnership with our Capital Management team to feature a circadian lighting system which aims to keep the patient’s body aligned with the shift between night and day by emitting bright, bluish light during the day and dim, yellowish light in the evening to allow the body to release melatonin—the hormone our brains produce to aid sleep.

Digital rendering of a patient room.

The idea of housing a patient care unit on Lower Level may sound dark and dismal, but this patient room mock-up design shows that—thanks to the circadian lighting system—the new unit will be anything but. The digital rendering above represents what the patient rooms on this new unit may look like.

Preparing to serve more Iowans

In preparation for the opening of this new unit, several changes are underway now or will begin shortly. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Beginning Wednesday, July 6, 2022, 7JPP—the current medical observation unit—will expand from seven beds to 16 beds. Then, in February 2023, these will transition to being located in the Lower Level unit.
  • 3 Roy Carver West—the current surgical recovery unit—will transition to 16 inpatient beds once the Lower Level unit opens in February of 2023.
  • Comprised of 30 beds, the goal of the Lower Level unit is to bring together medical observation and surgical recovery patients together on one unit to improve efficiency, quick turnover of rooms, and open up additional adult inpatient beds.