There is a lot happening with the Snoqualmie Valley’s new hospital. Construction continues on the new facility near Snoqualmie Ridge, but there is now a chance it will open as Overlake Medical Center.
Overlake Medical Center Could Buy Soon-to-Open SnoqualmieValley Hospital
Snoqualmie Valley Hospital (SVH) District announced on July 3, 2014, that the Board of Commissioners signed a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) to pursue an affiliation with Overlake Medical Center. According to the LOI, Overlake would purchase or lease the new hospital from the developer, Benaroya Companies, and operate the facility.
The hospital board voted 4-1 to sign the Letter of Intent, with Commissioner Gene Pollard voting no. Pollard stated he objects to the possible affiliation being pushed “without transparency and sufficient opportunity for the pubic to consider pros and cons.”
According to a SVH press release, “The organizations share a common vision to expand health care services in Snoqualmie Valley through enhanced specialty care and hospital services. This affiliation would ensure a strong health care system in the Valley for generations to come.”
“The Hospital District and Overlake have worked collaboratively for decades,” said Rodger McCollum, CEO of Snoqualmie Valley Hospital District. “By combining resources and services, the hospital will be well positioned to meet future health care challenges while integrating access to high quality care for patients throughout the Valley.”
McCollum explained that due to health care reform, many hospitals nationwide are affiliating in order to streamline healthcare and make it more affordable. He worries that if the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital doesn’t explore such affiliation, it could become “orphaned” in the future.
Final agreements are contingent upon extensive due diligence and regulatory approval, a process that could take several months, with McCollum saying November 2014 is possible. The new hospital is scheduled to open in early 2015.
Snoqualmie Valley Hospital Construction Continues on Track for Spring 2015 Opening
Monday morning, June 30, 2014, the new Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, which is currently under construction, placed the new focal architectural piece on top of the building.
This tower cap piece sits over the hospital’s front entryway, located on the southeast corner of the hospital. The tower cap is translucent in order to allow for maximum natural light in the new facility. Multiple other windows throughout the new hospital create a lighter environment for patients and staff.
The new Snoqualmie Valley hospital, as of right now, is still on track to open late first quarter 2015. It will be relocated from its current, more difficult to find location on West North Bend Way to a more easily accessible location along I-90 near SR 18.
There will be many new accommodations unique to the new facility, as opposed to the current one. It has been designed for easy navigation with central hallways and large architectural landmarks that carry though both the first and second floor.
One such landmark is a large, see-through floor-to-ceiling fireplace that stretches the entire length of the 1st floor waiting area and cafeteria.The fireplace will continue into the building’s second floor, making it easy for people to know what part of the building they are in.
The two-story building more than doubles the size of the current Snoqualmie Valley hospital, increasing from 29,000 square feet to 67,000 square feet. The 30-year-old hospital, with multiple entry points and a maze of confusing hallways, is being replaced by a larger, clean-cut light-filled space.
The current Snoqualmie Valley hospital will become property of the Snoqualmie Tribe upon opening of the new facility.
New, Improved Hospital Features
The new hospital’s increased space will feature more in-patient rooms, going from 14 double rooms to 25 single rooms, which will help accommodate more “swing-bed” patients—those who are technically eligible to be released from area hospitals, but are not yet prepared or able to care for themselves. Hospital officials say there is a big need for swing-bed space on the Eastside that the new facility will help fill.
The new facility will have a decontamination room – something required in case of chemical accidents, but that commonly goes unused in most hospitals, often ending up a storage room. In order to maximize the efficiency of the space, the decontamination room in the new hospital will also double as an isolation room to be used when a patient is in need of quarantine. This room can also be used for overflow when the hospital has too many patients.
Not only will there be more space and improvements for patients, but also for hospital staff. The nurses’ stations will be about six times larger, providing more space to complete paperwork and manage patient care.
There will also be a break room for EMTs, missing at the current hospital and something present at most other area hospitals, as well as a new on-call room for ER doctors to rest when needed, as shifts can last as long as 36 hours.
Other improvements include a centrally located imaging center on the main floor; a “telecommuting” room where doctors can have computer teleconferences with specialty physicians across the area; a main floor primary care clinic area; and more parking.
SVH officials say the new Snoqualmie Valley Hospital will create a more spacious and efficient environment for patient care, providing the Snoqualmie Valley with easily accessible care for any medical problem or emergency.
[Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, a Top 20 Critical Access Hospital for Quality, delivers health care in a collaborative environment. The hospital, clinics, specialty providers and regional partners work together to provide outpatient and inpatient services for residents of Carnation, Fall City, Preston, Snoqualmie, North Bend and Snoqualmie Pass. For more information, visit www.SVHD4.org.
Overlake Medical Center is a non-profit, non-tax-supported regional medical center with a network of primary care, specialty and urgent care medical clinics throughout the Eastside. The hospital is licensed for 349 beds and offers a comprehensive range of services, including cardiac care, cancer care, general and specialty surgery, women’s programs, senior care and psychiatric services. It was the first Level III trauma service on the Eastside. For more information, visit www.overlakehospital.org.]