Scripps Health plans $2.6 billion in new hospital construction

As more care is being delivered in outpatient facilities, Scripps said it will design its acute care hospitals to care for the most seriously ill.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Credit: Scripps HealthCredit: Scripps Health

Scripps Health has unveiled a plan for the largest building program in the health system's 125-year history, triggering about $2.6 billion in construction projects at its hospital campuses across San Diego County.

New hospital towers and some seismic retrofitting of existing spaces at its five campuses will be the focus of the new investment.

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The plan accounts for changing healthcare trends, particularly when it comes to technology. Flexible space designs will take into account technology's rapid evolution, meaning the latest equipment and devices can be easily incorporated into patient rooms, operating rooms, laboratories and diagnostic centers.

More care is being delivered on an outpatient basis at clinics and other medical facilities, so Scripps will design its acute care hospitals to care for the most seriously ill patients.

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Plans include state-of-the-art private patient rooms, and floors will be designed following best practices, according to Scripps. Nurses will be placed closer to patients and will have more direct access to equipment and supplies, increasing their efficiency and improving their ability to deliver quality care. Facilities will be designed to promote patient healing and comfort, the system said, and will make efficient use of natural resources.

The projects will be financed by operating revenues, borrowing and philanthropy.

Plans for Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego represent the largest project. Those plans include replacing the existing acute care building with a new, 710,000-square-foot, seismically sound tower featuring 12 stories above ground and three below. Most of the rooms in the hospital will be private, while other work will include upgrades to the central energy plant. Construction of the replacement tower is expected to begin in 2022 and finish in 2027.

Seismic retrofitting the acute care buildings at the Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista and Scripps Green hospital campuses is part of the plan as well. The retrofitting construction will begin in 2022 at Scripps Mercy Chula Vista and in 2027 at Scripps Green, with all of the work slated to be completed prior to 2030.

Work at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla will include construction of a new seven-story, 401,000-square-foot hospital tower. The new tower will feature a women's health center, which will include labor and delivery, postpartum beds, a nursery, an obstetrical surgery area and a neonatal intensive care unit. Other projects on the campus include upgrades to the central energy plant. Construction of that new tower is expected to begin in 2021 and conclude in 2024.

Plans for Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas include the construction of a new 185,000-square-foot, three-story acute care building. Other campus projects include the construction of a new three-story, 68,000-square-foot medical office building, upgrades to the central energy plant and seismic retrofitting of several other buildings. Construction of the new acute care building is expected to begin in 2021 and conclude in 2024.

The plan also includes the construction of two Scripps MD Anderson outpatient cancer centers. One will be a new cancer center located at Scripps Mercy San Diego and the other will be an expansion of the Scripps Radiation Therapy Center in La Jolla. Work on the Scripps MD Anderson cancer center at Scripps Mercy will take place as part of that campus' construction, while the timeline for the expansion work at the Scripps Radiation Therapy Center is yet to be determined.

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