In downtown LaPorte, the Region’s newest hospital opened over the weekend. Move-in day for Northwest Health – La Porte was Saturday, October 24th. The four story hospital on State Street with all private patient rooms sits one block from the old La Porte Hospital. Next year, Northwest Health – La Porte will open a new medical office building that will be attached to the new hospital. The medical office building will feature three stories of physicians’ offices as well as the Infusion Center, Sleep Lab and Wound Care.
“We are so pleased to give our community the gift of a new state-of-the-art hospital,” says Ashley Dickinson, CEO of Northwest Health – La Porte as well as Northwest Health – Starke. “Our new hospital is set to provide the compassionate care we’ve become known for with the addition of all brand new technology and equipment for best practice patient care.”
“Northwest Health – La Porte will provide a high level of clinical efficiency, advanced technology and patient convenience,” said Dickinson. For example, privacy is important to patients, and the hospital offers all private patient rooms designed to support patient healing and family involvement. Each room includes a private bathroom and shower, a large picture window, flat screen TV, internet access, room-by-room temperature control and a recliner to allow a family member to spend the night.
The new hospital includes electronic information boards in each room that are linked to the patient’s medical record which allow patients to see their care plan at all times and also see photos of their care givers. More than 80% of the equipment in the facility is new. The hospital also features floor-by-floor efficiencies, such as multiple nursing stations on each level and separate observation/documentation stations in the Intensive Care Unit. This means patients are closer to their caregivers, and caregivers are closer to the supplies, equipment and resources needed to expedite care.
The two-story lobby of the new hospital was designed to easily guide patients and visitors to the healthcare services used most frequently. Registration areas, also in the lobby, were designed to ensure patient privacy. At Northwest Health – La Porte, both patients and visitors will have access to complimentary valet parking upon arrival. Two dining options are available: the Garden Café on the first floor and The Gathering Café & Bakery on the second floor.
The plan for transferring patients from the hospital on Lincolnway to the new facility on State Street was a year in the making. “We looked at several methodologies, before determining what was the safest procedure to transfer our patients,” said Dickinson. Twelve ambulances from several different agencies transported sixty-four patients, including two newborns, to the new facility. A temporary command center at each hospital featured software to track each patient on the move. “We used one ambulance per patient” she says. “We used paramedics in life-support ambulances to make sure everything that could be mitigated was.” Multiple agencies helped support the actual patient transfer that began at 6 a.m. Saturday, including the Indiana Department of Transportation.
New patients were accepted at the new Northwest Health – La Porte beginning at 6 a.m. that day. Dickinson remarked, “We have a new name, a new logo, new patient-centered design, new technology, equipment, new jobs and, most importantly, we are part of an entirely new healthcare system for the region – Northwest Health,” Dickinson says. “We are a regional system, which means our patients can remain here in Northwest Indiana, getting nearly all of the care they need close to home.”
And, she adds, “I’m extremely proud to share this exciting experience with our dedicated and knowledgeable medical staff and our highly experienced and caring colleagues. Their compassionate care remains at the core of our team and hospital’s success.”