Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

North Tower Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why build the Mission Hospital North Tower?

The goal of the Mission Hospital North Tower is to provide our patients with a modern environment centered upon their healing and well-being. This new modernized space will replace undersized treatment and patient rooms and offer our community increased access to state-of-the-art surgical suites, an expanded emergency department and other world-class medical technology.

 

What will the North Tower at Mission Hospital look like and when will it open?

The new structure is slated to open in fall 2019. Following is an exterior image of the building (as of June 2019).

What are some key elements of the new structure?

The expanded emergency department is just one notable aspect of the improved patient experience. While Mission Hospital currently has 60 beds – and averages approximately 300 patients every day – the new emergency department will consist of 94 beds.

In the patient rooms, a significant focus on smart technology will lead to better outcomes and experiences. Television screens opposite the patient’s bed not only provide access to endless educational and entertainment content, but real-time information such as vital signs, test results and medications that are due.

To better support the techniques of today and the innovations of the future, an interventional platform on the second floor provides all of the services a patient will need in one space – including operating rooms, radiology treatment rooms, diagnostic tools, prep and recovery, and procedural rooms. Patients arriving to the hospital with an illness or injury requiring immediate intervention such as stroke, myocardial infarction or traumatic injury will have direct access to the interventional platform from a rooftop helipad or the ground floor emergency department via a dedicated trauma elevator.

The new tower has also been thoughtfully designed with art and architecture balancing beauty, culture and function – with elements such as large windows, stonework, art glass, high ceilings, plentiful greenery and an abundance of visual art inspired by the wonders found in nature throughout western North Carolina.

To help restore the mind, body and spirit of patients and the people who care for them, there are several areas of respite, including an interfaith chapel for prayer, meditation and worship, a healing courtyard on the first floor and a third-floor terrace with views of Asheville and the mountains beyond.

Are Mission’s team members benefitting from the expansion?

Absolutely – team members are the foundation of our ability to provide top-quality care to every patient. Accordingly, the North Tower at Mission Hospital was designed with both patients and team members in mind, for example:

  • Dedicated relaxation rooms with views and massage chairs for team members.
  • Patient rooms will have ceiling lifts to prevent back injuries and a nurse server that stores supplies at the bedside.
  • There will be two accessible, beautiful outdoor spaces and several other innovations to create a great place to work and practice.
What are some other key features of the North Tower at Mission Hospital’s design?

Some of the key design elements include:

  • Private patient rooms that include comfortable space for family members.
  • Eight state-of-the-art digital operating rooms, two hybrid/vascular operating rooms (OR), 11 interventional and cardiac catheterization suites and a post-anesthesia care unit (PACU).
  • A Healing Courtyard located between the new tower and the Owen Heart Center, giving families, patients and caregivers direct access to gardens, walking trails and waiting benches.
  • A partially covered Roof Terrace with landscaping located on the third floor offering outstanding views to the west of Mt. Pisgah and the surrounding mountain range and plenty of seating for patients, visitors and team members.
How will local traffic be affected and for how long?

As construction continues, traffic flow will be impacted periodically in various locations. Most of the street closures, however, have already happened. The occasional lane closure may happen on Hospital Drive, Biltmore Avenue and Victoria Road. The ultimate outcome will be that improvements will be made to traffic signalization, bus stops and natural areas and lanes will be widened.

How much is Mission Hospital investing in this expansion? How many jobs are being created?

The total project value is more than $400 million, and we estimate that approximately 1,300 jobs related to construction will be created over the lifespan of the seven-year project.

At the end of 2017, the project was supporting 362 construction jobs, generated $46.9 million of new economic activity and increased tax revenues by $9.7 million in Buncombe County. Our community is a large part of the building of the North Tower at Mission Hospital with 25 subcontractors and 85 percent of construction workers from the western North Carolina region.

Will Mission Hospital have to adjust the number of patients it can take or its quality of care?

Mission Hospital always strives to accommodate capacity for patient care. The goal of the Mission Hospital North Tower is to improve operational efficiency and enhance quality of care.

What other expansion projects does Mission Health have planned in its network?

For Mission Health, community investment has been an integral part of our history and culture for more than a century. Today, it helps drive innovation and contributes to our ranking as one of the nation’s highest quality health systems. At the heart of our health system is the relationship between our member hospitals and the communities we serve.

In recent years, we’ve seen an expansion of the emergency departments at both Highlands Cashiers Hospital and Transylvania Regional Hospital and a new facility in Marion – The Mission Hospital McDowell.

In 2018, Angel Medical Center’s Certificate of Need was approved for a replacement hospital with the same number of beds, three shared operating rooms and one gastrointestinal endoscopy procedure room. Construction is planned to start in February 2019 with the completion of the replacement hospital in late 2021.

Click here to learn more about the projects underway that will help us provide and support good health throughout western North Carolina. It is our goal to be at the forefront of innovation that brings the latest technology to our patients, close to home.

How has the North Tower at Mission Hospital been designed to help with noise?

Providing an exceptional experience for each person, family and team member is just one of the key outcomes desired in Mission Health’s BIG(GER) Aim. Accordingly, comfortable rooms with calm noise levels was one of the key features taken into consideration when designing the expansion.

To ensure adequate noise reduction, Mission Health hired an acoustical consulting firm, Blue Ridge Research and Consulting (BRRC), and undertook BRRC’s recommended steps to reduce the sound output.

Additionally, included in the design of the building, some examples of our efforts to reduce noise include:

  • The penthouse does not have typical “high noise” equipment such as boilers, chillers, cooling towers or generators. This equipment is all located in a remote energy plant on the other side of campus.
  • The transformers are located within the building envelope (physical separator between the interior and exterior of the building) to minimize “humming” noises in the outdoor environment. All pump equipment in the penthouse is mounted on bases meant to reduce vibration and noise.

We are constantly evaluating noise levels to determine if additional actions are needed.

What will happen to the St. Joseph’s campus?

A decision about the future of the St. Joseph campus has not yet been determined. There is a dedicated team of individuals exploring the many options and related outcomes that will come of this decision – and we are not taking these assessments lightly.

With the construction of the “interventional platform” providing new operating room (OR)/post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) areas, what will become of those existing units and the space those units currently occupy?

A team of Mission leaders assessed all the spaces being vacated and determined the priorities for what the future use will be.

What will this project do for parking for employees and guests?

At Mission Hospital, we have many parking options for patients, families and team members. These options will remain available throughout construction of the Mission Hospital North Tower. When the building is complete, a new parking lot with more than 90 spaces will be available for patients and families adjacent to our new emergency department.