Newswise — ORLANDO, Fla. (January 9, 2015) --- As the new year begins, Orlando Health turns the page to a new chapter in patient, guest and team member experience, when Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC) opens its new patient tower.

On Monday, January 12, visitors to ORMC will begin using the new tower’s front entrance as the main entry into the hospital. Also that day, the tower’s first floor areas – Patient Registration, Guest Services and Administration – will open. Later in the month, clinicians will begin to treat patients in the new tower. The new patient tower is referred to as ORMC North Tower. The existing ORMC building will now be referred to as ORMC South Tower.

The 245-bed, 10-story, 345,000-square foot north tower is designed to enhance the quality of care, reinforce safety for patients and caregivers, and heighten patient satisfaction. It features all private rooms, centralized registration, in-room computers to enable caregivers to chart at patients’ bedside, safety “red lines” that are integrated into acute-care rooms to identify isolation boundaries, and a host of concierge-style amenities; all nestled in a building that reflects the natural beauty of Florida – blending medicine and art for a unique healing environment.

The North Tower is part of the hospital’s redesign and renovation project. The project includes an expanded state-of-the-art Emergency Department, cardiovascular service areas, operating suites, and other ancillary services located inside ORMC South Tower. The South Tower expansion is expected to be completed in the spring. The entire redesign and renovation project, an estimated cost of $297 million, represents one of the largest and most significant projects in the organization’s history.

Brasfield & Gorrie served as the general contractor for the project. The architectural firm was HKS Architects, Inc.

Redefining the Patient Experience

“The North Tower represents a transformation in our health care story that redefines how we care for our patients,” said Mark A. Jones, president, ORMC. “One advantage of the new patient tower is that we will be converting all of ORMC to a private room facility which allows patients to rest better, feel more at ease, and have more privacy as they recover with loved ones nearby. Also, more efficiently designed advanced patient care units bring clinicians and technology closer to patients and families for improved interaction and medical care delivery.”

The North Tower is a culmination of input and feedback from patients, their families and team members, along with industry best practices, to form an atmosphere designed to enhance wellness, and take the Orlando Health patient experience to the next level.

“As we near the century mark of caring for our community, we continue to strive for ways to meet the growing and changing health care needs while remaining steadfast to fulfill our mission,” said Jamal Hakim, MD, interim president and CEO, Orlando Health. “The North Tower and the South Tower renovations are key components to continuing to deliver quality care, improved services for patients and efficiencies for the organization.”

Designed with home, hospitality, and nature in mind

The enhanced patient experience continues with distinctive and purposeful design elements to support the healing environment with touches of the home environment, hospitality and nature. “Our interior design is both Florida inspired and nature inspired,” said Karen Guindi, interior designer, and facilities planning senior project manager, Business Development, Orlando Health. “We know from countless studies the ways nature helps in healing, and this is a place of healing.”

Nature’s elements are captured in many aspects to bring calm and harmony. The curve of the building symbolizes the waves of water. Suspended sphere lighting in the atrium allude to bubbles formed in water. Light passes through expansive windows and glass walls keeping the environment bright and airy. Artwork by Florida and local artists along the walls continues to tell the story of nature with images that depict ocean blues, warm earth tones, and textures of stones and woods. Orchids and other live plants placed throughout help improve health and well-being.

“A place of healing can also be a place of beautiful surroundings,” said Guindi. “Breathtaking views of a sunrise or a sunset as you begin to feel better after heart surgery, or views of Orlando’s downtown skyline as you begin to take your first steps after a hip replacement, add to the healing process.”The environment also embraces families and team members.

“For families and guests a landscape view from a retreat room helps with relaxation as they rest and rejuvenate to help care for and support loved ones in their recovery,” said Guindi. “We even have staff respite areas to provide a place of tranquility for a needed pause or moment in a day to help maintain balance.”

Other design elements promote movement. Flooring patterns of different textures and designs create direction and aid in guidance as guests and patients make their way throughout spaces. Also, each floor has a unique color palette which serves as location reminder cues.

The new facility design also includes green building strategies to lower operating costs, reduce energy use and increase building efficiency. Strategies include natural durable materials and light filtering through the building to maximize natural light and reduce the need of artificial lighting. ###

About Orlando Health Orlando Health is a $2.1 billion not-for-profit health care organization and a community-based network of physician practices, hospitals, and outpatient care centers throughout Central Florida. The organization includes Orlando Health Physician Group and Physician Associates, two of the largest multi-specialty practices in Central Florida, ownership in an outpatient surgery center, and eight wholly-owned or partnership hospitals. An Orlando Health subsidiary also has a 49 percent interest in five outpatient imaging centers.

Orlando Health is home to the area’s only Level One Trauma Centers for adults and pediatrics and is a statutory teaching hospital system that offers both specialty and community hospitals. They are: Orlando Regional Medical Center; Dr. P. Phillips Hospital; South Seminole Hospital; Health Central Hospital, the Arnold Palmer Medical Center, which consists of Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies; the UF Health Cancer Center – Orlando Health, South Lake Hospital (50 percent affiliation); and St. Cloud Regional Medical Center (20 percent affiliation). Areas of clinical excellence are heart and vascular, cancer care, neurosciences, surgery, pediatric orthopedics and sports medicine, neonatology, and women’s health.

Nearly 3,000 physicians have privileges at Orlando Health, which is also one of the area’s largest employers with more than 15,000 employees who support our philosophy of providing high quality care and service that revolves around patients’ needs. We prove this everyday with over 100,000 inpatient admissions and nearly 900,000 outpatient visits each year. In all, Orlando Health serves 1.8 million Central Florida residents and more than 4,500 international patients annually. Additionally, Orlando Health provides more than $270 million in support of community health needs. More information can be found at

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