116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — This spring, work will begin on a $14 million renovation of the third floor of UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital to replace a decades-old general inpatient unit.
The project will “modernize” patient rooms on the third floor built in the 1950s and 1960s, replacing the medical and surgical inpatient units and incorporating new technology in an effort to improve patient quality of care, St. Luke’s officials said.
“The focus of this (renovation) is patients and patient experience,” said Casey Greene, vice president and chief operating officer of UnityPoint Health-Cedar Rapids.
Construction will start in May and is expected to be completed July 2022. The project was planned before the COVID-19 pandemic. Greene said hospital officials decided to move forward with construction this year, confident the vaccines will help prevent the hospital from becoming overwhelmed with infected patients.
Officials also opted to move forward with the renovation despite the financial hardships St. Luke’s Hospital and health care systems across the nation have faced over the past year, mostly driven by the drop in revenue from elective surgeries during the pandemic.
“We felt it was important to invest in this for patients and staff, and to improve the quality of care,” Greene said.
St. Luke’s Foundation is supporting the renovation, a fundraising effort that includes a $1 million estate donation, officials stated in a news release. Additional funds will be raised through a future capital campaign.
The past year did bring lessons that officials incorporated into the design, Greene said.
Officials plan to include more negative air pressure rooms onto the floor, which were used this past year for infected patients in isolation to keep the virus from spreading, but will have a use beyond the pandemic, Greene said. A number of hospital rooms had to be converted to negative pressure rooms throughout the course of the pandemic.
The hospital’s third floor currently houses two separate units for post-surgical patients and general medical inpatient care. The construction will combine the two units into one and convert the third floor exclusively to patient care, moving a dialysis area, an IV therapy and other services to a different floor, Greene said.
Once finished, the floor will house a new surgery recovery bay and 46 patient rooms — a drop from the current 52 rooms.
Double occupancy rooms will be converted to single patient rooms, and each room will have more space to make room for visitors. Individual rooms also get additional amenities, including a private shower in the bathroom.
The project will include other improvements to the floor, including a new call-light system and new technology that will be used to monitor patients at the bedside, Greene said.
The $14 million renovation is part of a master facility plan at UnityPoint Health-Cedar Rapids. No specific plans are in place yet for other construction projects down the road, but Greene said the third floor is one of two floors in the hospital that have yet to be renovated.
“We’re always investing in our facility,” Greene said.