Inpatient Bed Replacement

inpatient bed replacement

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We are making a major investment in health care for the people of Vermont and northern New York by creating facilities that will match the high quality of health care that our doctors, nurses and staff deliver each and every day. We need to modernize and replace outdated inpatient buildings to increase the number of single-occupancy rooms - the current standard of inpatient care. Our oldest inpatient buildings date back more than 50 years, and many rooms are doubles that do not offer adequate space and privacy. New facilities will greatly enhance our efficiency and will be more cost effective over time. Most importantly, they are a better space to care for our patients - enhancing quality, privacy and healing, and providing more room for their families.  

Inpatient Bed Replacement FAQs

What’s changing?

We’re proposing the construction of an inpatient bed replacement building:

  • A seven-floor inpatient building, approximately 180,000 sq. ft. 
  • Located on the west side of the Medical Center Campus above the existing Emergency Department parking lot 
  • 128 single occupancy, medical-surgical, telemetry-capable rooms on Levels 3, 4, 5 and 6
    • Mechanical space on Levels 2 and 7
    • Modified Emergency Department entrance and parking on 1st Level
  • Connecting corridors from new building to Ambulatory Care Center on Levels 1, 2 and 3 and to McClure building on Level 4
  • LEED certified design for sustainability

This project does not actually add beds, but will allow us to place more of the beds we do have in private rooms. The approximate number of existing staffed beds (447) would initially be maintained. Flexibility would also be preserved to reduce beds in the future as health reform initiatives succeed in reducing inpatient utilization. 

Current hospital design standards require private rooms for new hospital construction. With these additional rooms, we can increase our single-occupancy rate from approximately 30% to approximately 90%.

inpatient bed replacement

Why are we doing this now?

A major focus of Fletcher Allen’s Master Facilities Planning efforts is to rejuvenate aging inpatient facilities in the most financially prudent way. We need to preserve our medical center campus for its highest and best use: caring for the sickest, most complex patients in our region.

Now is the right time to invest in updating our inpatient facilities, some of which are 50 to 70 years old. They have served us well and we’ve gotten great use out of them. However, they need to be replaced to meet today’s hospital design standards.

  • Currently, many of Fletcher Allen’s inpatient rooms are double rooms that do not provide adequate space for patient care. By creating more single rooms, we can provide enough space in inpatient rooms for families and medical equipment. 
  • Newer, larger rooms will also improve quality of care by allowing us to continue to more effectively practice infection prevention, one of our highest priorities.
  • Having more inpatient rooms means we can make better use of the beds we have. For example, we won’t have to leave a bed empty because of infection concerns. 

What will this cost, and how can the hospital afford it?

Detailed costs for the project will be submitted to the Green Mountain Care Board in November after construction costs have been finalized with our construction manager. The preliminary cost estimate for the project is $175 million. Additionally, the interest paid during the construction period on bonds needed to finance the project will amount to an estimated $12.7 million and must be included with the project cost, making the total amount requiring approval $187.7 million.  

The construction-related project costs are to be financed by the following funding sources: 

Working Capital -  $45,000,000
Fundraising -  $30,000,000
Borrowing - $100,000,000
Total - $175,000,000

What has the planning process been like, and who has been involved?

This project is the result of a multi-year planning process with four important elements:

  • We started with a comprehensive assessment of Fletcher Allen’s existing inpatient facilities in light of contemporary standards for inpatient care. This led to the development of a Master Facilities Plan in 2008. 
  • Second, we continued with a bed-need analysis that updated the Plan to assess regional bed need, using population-based science. 
  • Third, we carefully examined the likely impacts of health care reform initiatives and Fletcher Allen Partners’ collaborative regional planning efforts to reduce inpatient utilization, taking this analysis into account in our assessment of future bed need. 
  • Fourth, we relied heavily on input from and collaboration with key stakeholders. Special emphasis was given to input gathered from patients and families to ensure that the Project will accommodate families as part of the care team, promote patient healing, and improve quality.  We are also working closely with a historical preservationist to ensure that we mitigate any adverse impacts on historical sites adjacent to the project area (such as the Converse building).  

What’s the project timeline?

In August 2013, we received approval of our Conceptual CON for the project, allowing us to do detailed preliminary planning with input from a variety of stakeholders as well as our project architect and construction manager.  The project plans have been approved by the City of Burlington and by the Fletcher Allen and Fletcher Allen Partners boards.  

We submitted a full Certificate of Need (CON) application to the State of Vermont on September 29, 2014, with final costs to be submitted in November 2014. After a CON is issued, it will take approximately three years for design completion and construction of the building. Assuming all permitting and approvals are in place, construction would commence in the spring of 2015 and the new building would open in the fall of 2018.

Who is doing the construction for this project?

MorrisSwitzer~ Environments for Health of Williston is the project architect, and The Whiting Turner Contracting Company of Baltimore, MD is the construction manager, partnering with Neagley & Chase Construction Company of South Burlington, VT. MorrisSwitzer is one of the few architectural firms in the country devoted exclusively to healthcare. They designed our Vermont Children’s Hospital inpatient unit, the Walk-In Clinic at Fanny Allen, and several other Fletcher Allen projects in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. They are also designing the new Mother-Baby unit which is under construction now. Whiting Turner has over a century of construction experience and prominent healthcare clients like Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, and Kaiser Permanente.

Whom can I contact with questions?

Dave Keelty, Director of Facilities Planning and Development, at 802-847-8443 or Dave.Keelty@vtmednet.org

inpatient bed replacement


Related Documents

Inpatient Bed Replacement CON Application Download PDF
Inpatient Bed Replacement Powerpoint Download PDF


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