Valley Hospital in Paramus: Hospital of future is here today

370-bed, state-of-art facility, with more technology and upgrades than you can imagine, will open April 14

As you go through the new Valley Hospital in Paramus — see the 370-bed, state-of-the-art facility that includes more features for patient (and family) comfort and care than you could imagine, and hear about all the upgrades the hospital will make when it moves from its current location in Ridgewood — it would be fair to ask yourself one big question: How outstanding of a health care facility will this be when it opens April 14?

The Valley Hospital, after all, is already one of the top-rated hospitals in New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area.

Gov. Phil Murphy, on hand for the ribbon-cutting Friday morning, offered his take.

The new Valley Hospital. (Valley Health System)

“This will become not just one of the premier hospitals in the state or the Northeast, but in the United States of America,” he said to a group of hundreds.

His analysis was far from hyperbole.

From individual rooms for all patients (including, amazingly enough, those in the neonatal intensive care unit) … to artificial intelligence cameras that sense when a patient is going to fall out of bed (before they fall out of bed) … to tablet technology that will enable friends and family to not only be able to hear what the doctor is saying to the patient but participate in the conversation remotely … to in-room couches that convert to beds (allowing family members to stay overnight) … the new hospital figures to be a hospital of the future available today.

Consider just the hospital room. In the old facility, rooms were 140-220 square feet and often served two patients. In the new hospital, rooms will be 300 square feet and for just one patient.

Single-patient rooms certainly will cut down on the spread of germs, but that is only one way the hospital will do so. There will be no more pull curtains, and there will be an ability to restock from outside the room — both of which are upgrades facilities have been racing to add since the pandemic.

Should another pandemic moment arrive, the hospital rooms will be ready, too.

Every patient room has been designed with the ability to be quickly converted into a critical care room if needed. The rooms will feature double the amount of oxygen outlets, medical air and medical vacuum outlets, as well as normal and emergency power electrical outlets.

When you add in the already top quality of Valley’s doctors and nurses and staff, you can see why longtime Valley Health System CEO Audrey Meyers obviously is so excited.

“Everything about the hospital and the health and wellness campus was designed with our patients and their families in mind,” she said. “From single-patient rooms, which promote privacy and enhance our care, to smart technology that lets patients order room service and online entertainment, to water features and gardens that serve as calming and healing influences, every aspect of design was considered from a patient’s point of view.”

A patient room. (Valley Health System)

The new hospital, which broke ground just before the pandemic, is a center of care in so many ways, Meyers said.

“The healing environment provided to patients and their families plays a crucial role in recovery. This environment includes various elements such as amenities, lighting, room temperature, sound and art,” she said. “Whether our patients are appreciating the beauty of the panels from their room or a family member is walking past the Stefan Knapp panels in the gardens, we believe the beauty of art will aid in the healing process for our patients and their families.”

And, while hospitals always will be judged on patient care and outcome, there is a numbers element to the new facility that helps tell the story. Consider:

  • Emergency room: The new hospital will have 80 exam rooms; the old facility had 40;
  • Operating rooms: They will be 650 square feet to 1,000 square feet in the new facility; they were 450 square feet in the old facility;
  • Elevators: The new hospital will have 27; the old facility had eight.

Then, there’s this: The new hospital is a candidate for designation as a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Healthcare Project by the U.S. Green Building Council. More than 30% of the hospital campus is dedicated to green space. There are two green roofs and a cogeneration plant that will produce 30-40% of its power depending on the season and will be 14% more efficient than other hospitals.

Dr. Robert Brenner, the president of the Valley Health System, said everything was done by committee — and with a purpose.

“The designing and building of the new hospital has been a true collaboration by staff, doctors and patients across Valley Health System,” he said. “Teams from virtually every department and service within the organization have shared their input regarding ways to improve patient care and streamline workflows.

“When designing the new facility, several key design elements were taken into consideration. These included employing the latest in health care technology, the adjacency of services to improve patient care and ensuring we can operate our campus sustainably for years to come.”

Chief Operating Officer Karteek Bhavsar agreed.

“The patient experience at the Valley Hospital in Paramus will truly be like no other,” he said. “Central to the new hospital will be the provision of single-patient rooms, which have been designed to enhance patient privacy and provide a superior healing environment for patients and their loved ones. This design will also provide staff with more opportunities to form personal connections with each of their patients.

Valley Health System CEO Audrey Meyers speaks at the event. (Tom Bergeron/ROI-NJ)

“At Valley, we provide patient- and family-centered care, so, creating a space where our families and guests can reside was of utmost importance to us.”

All this at a hospital that already is ranked among the 100 best in the country and three best in New Jersey.

Meyers tried to sum up what it all means.

“Our new hospital in Paramus will raise the bar on everything we do, and how we provide care to our patients,” she said.

“With all single-patient rooms, the latest medical innovations and a flexibility that will allow us to adapt to future health care needs, this facility will serve as the premier health care destination for our region for generations to come.

“Built with patient safety and comfort in mind, the Valley Hospital will combine cutting-edge innovation along with the expert, compassionate care for which Valley has always been known.”