Saint John's Health Center -- The Hospital of the Future

The future of healthcare is coming to Santa Monica and the Westside. You will find it at Saint John's Health Center. The medical facility is stepping to the forefront of healthcare delivery by developing a comprehensive design plan for a new facility.

Architects of the health center envision a complex where services are easily accessible, emphasizing procedures that allow patients to be treated without prolonged hospital stays. The result will be a patient-friendly healthcare environment unparalleled virtually anywhere in the country. There will be a very strong emphasis on wellness and express diagnostics and treatment, and inpatient bed capacity will be trimmed from the current 356 to approximately 150 -- a direct reflection of the shift toward greater outpatient care.

The activities at Saint John's are similar to reforms being undertaken at hospitals across the country. Managed care has compelled medical facilities to better control costs, partly by admitting fewer people for inpatient care. Simultaneously, advances in medical technology are leaving more hospital beds vacant. Saint John's is uniquely positioned to respond to this changing medical world by improving the single most important element -- the facility itself.

Plans continue to evolve, but a sample of the proposed enhancements for Saint John's include a health mall, which will include doctor's offices, a pharmacy, health-oriented retail stores and a medically supervised fitness facility; an on-line, interactive medical library, allowing 24-hour access and home computer link-up capabilities; and telemedicine technology, that for example, will allow an out-of-town physician to view a patient's medical information from a laptop computer or allow a patient to access their own medical records.

Saint John's President Sister Marie Madeleine Shonka says innovative design concepts and computer technology will increase the quality of care at Saint John's. But, she adds, Saint John's intrinsic values will remain the same.

You can enhance the technology, alter the system of delivery and even build a new facility, but you can't take away Saint John's renowned level of quality and compassionate service. That is our greatest asset.

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