George Washington University Hospital (GWUH) is world renowned for the excellence of the emergency healthcare it provides to 75,000 patients a year, as well as its role in serving the president and congress when in session.
Providing 24-hour, in-house acute care, the hospital receives the most critically injured patients from Washington DC and Northern Virginia, as well as transfers from the other nearby counties. GWUH is an American College of Surgeons (ACS) verified Level 1 Trauma Centre, which is the highest level a hospital can receive.
With a total of 371 beds, of which 52 are in the Emergency Department, the hospital moved to its present site in 2002. The $96m new build development allowed GWUH to expand its services and offer state-of-the-art facilities across a range of services including emergency medicine, cardiovascular surgery, neurological care, maternity care, oncology, laboratories and research centres.
A Wholescale Refurbishment
As the lead mechanical and electrical engineering contractor for this successful scheme, we were appointed again by our client in 2011 when the decision was made to further update the hospital’s Heart Center, already a national centre of excellence in cardiovascular emergency surgery, treatment and research.
With limited space for expansion to existing facilities, the only way to upgrade the Heart Center was through a wholescale refurbishment of the 2002-built, 2,500m2 area, while the rest of the hospital continued to operate around the clock. We were part of the Integrated Project Team tasked to deliver this new facility within a build program of just 12 months.
Streamlining the Build Schedule
Facilities to be provided by the new Heart Center included an expanded operating theatre, improved recovery and endoscopy rooms, larger data centre and a new helipad for the admission of acute cases. The facilities needed to accommodate and enhance the Center’s advanced clinical techniques.
Our role was to streamline the overall build schedule to minimize the length of the project and undertake key mechanical and electrical engineering work. Importantly, we also needed to ensure that the rest of the hospital was not interrupted by the construction works. To achieve these aims we used LEAN project management techniques including a Choosing By Advantage (CBA) decision making system.
An Advanced Acute Center
By using a methodical and value-focussed approach to organising and delivering the build schedule, the Integrated Project Team was able to handover the project on time and within budget.
GWUH’s Heart Center continues to fulfil its mission of being one of the most advanced cardiovascular health centres in the US supported by a state-of-the-art acute care hospital.