Published on June 08, 2022

With single-occupancy rooms, Vision Northland project puts patient privacy first

Upon completion, Essentia Health’s new hospital will feature 346 beds in 344 rooms, meaning almost every patient we care for in the state-of-the-art facility will have a private room during their hospital stay.

Many hospitals place multiple patients in the same room, but as health care has advanced, single-patient rooms have proven to be safer and more beneficial for the patient and care teams alike.

“Our goal in building this new hospital is to enhance the patient experience as much as possible,” said Dr. Robert Erickson, Essentia’s physician lead for the project. “Providing private rooms to patients and their families can lead to more positive health outcomes.”

Private Patient Room Patient benefits include reduced risk of infection, increased privacy for confidential conversations between patient and provider, better sleep quality and an overall more peaceful environment. Another advantage is being able to bring machines and other equipment to the patient. For example, if a patient needs an X-ray, they can receive one without having to leave their room.

“We know that patients are already feeling vulnerable when they are in the hospital,” said Dr. Erickson. “Providing these private rooms allows the patient and their family to be more open about their care and provide more peace of mind surrounding their private health care details.”

The private rooms also provide more freedom and flexibility for visiting friends and family members. Each room is equipped with a family space that includes a couch with a pullout bed so visitors can spend the night in comfort, privacy and peace.

“Recovery time can often be quicker when a patient has a loved one nearby during their recovery process,” said Dr. Erickson. “This allows us to be more efficient, which helps the patient and allows us to be good stewards of our health care resources while providing the best care possible.”

These private rooms are also equipped with the latest technology and advancements that help limit how often staff has to enter the room, which provides fewer disruptions for the patient.

From check-in to discharge, there are several benefits for staff as well. These include fewer transports and increased efficiency.

“When designing the hospital, we kept staff and patients at the front of our minds,” said Dan Cebelinski, Essentia’s director of facilities. “Private patient rooms do just that and we can truly look at this as a win-win for everyone.”

All the rooms will be on the outside wall of the hospital and will feature large windows, giving patients a front-row seat to views of Lake Superior or the beautiful hillside of Duluth — and beyond, as far as the eye can see.

There are two rooms with shared beds in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). These are to keep sets of twins and other multiple births together for neonatal care.

Construction on the hospital is set to be complete during the first quarter of 2023 and the hospital is on track to be open in the third quarter of 2023.