Hackensack Meridian’s Helena Theurer Pavilion Delivers Smart Hospital Tech

State-of-the-art surgical and intensive care “smart hospital” is a regional destination for patient-centered, innovative care

In late 2022, Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center opened its nine-story, 530,000-square-foot Helena Theurer Pavilion. The Pavilion — one of the largest health care expansion projects in New Jersey’s history — is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and amenities that aim to raise the bar on patient-centered healthcare in the region.

“When the project began to take shape in 2012, we knew we wanted to provide our world-class team members with a world-class facility so they can deliver world-class care for members of our community — today and 100 years from now,” said Mark Sparta, FACHE, president, Northern Region, and president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center.

Patient-centered amenities meet advanced technology

The Helena Theurer Pavilion is a “smart hospital” that incorporates the latest technology into a modern, thoughtfully designed facility with all-private patient rooms. The building includes:

● 24 operating rooms

● 72 pre- and post-anesthesia care unit beds

● 50 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds

● 175 medical/surgical beds, including a Musculoskeletal Institute and intermediate care rooms

● 6 da Vinci robotic surgical systems, including one single port system

● 4 orthopedic robots for joint replacement procedures

“This is truly an awe-inspiring facility, for surgeons, the operating rooms are the most advanced that exist,” said Howard Ross, M.D., chair of surgery/surgeon-in-chief, Hackensack University Medical Center. “It’s full of air and light, floor-to-ceiling windows, and views of New York City, which creates a healing environment for patients and a sense of well-being for team members.”

Patient rooms are equipped with the latest technology, including an in-room tablet at the bedside that allows patients to control the lights, shades, TV, room temperature and a flat-screen TV equipped with patient education modules and family-friendly video chat capabilities.

In addition to incorporating features that enhance patient comfort, the facility promotes patient safety and team member efficiency. It includes dedicated CT imaging on the ICU floor, a monitor tablet outside each patient room that provides information for team members, in-room team workstations, patient lift systems and intraoperative MRI capabilities.

“The Helena Theurer Pavilion is a facility that represents the level of care we provide at Hackensack University Medical Center,” said Terri Freguletti, RN, MAS, vice president of Perioperative Services, Hackensack University Medical Center. “It’s not only perfect for now, but as medicine evolves, it will position us well into the future.”

The operating room tech of tomorrow

Hackensack University Medical Center is internationally recognized for excellence in robotic-assisted surgery, and the Helena Theurer Pavilion will allow surgeons from various medical specialties to build upon their reputation for innovation.

The facility includes six operating rooms dedicated to robotic-assisted surgery — and each room is equipped with an advanced da Vinci robotic surgical system. One operating room will house the da Vinci SP single-port robot, which allows surgeons to perform complex procedures through a half-inch incision. The Pavilion will also include four orthopedic robots for joint replacement procedures.

A vision that goes beyond ‘bricks and mortar’

Every detail of the Helena Theurer Pavilion has been designed to promote patient, team and community health— even down to the building materials selected for construction and future pandemic readiness.

“The facility has been designed to meet LEED silver certification standards, which means that it is energy efficient and uses building materials that are less toxic to the environment,” said Donald Ferrell, vice president of Regional Facilities, Northern Region, Hackensack Meridian Health. “The entire facility can even be converted to negative pressure in the event of a future public health event that requires isolation.”

But perhaps most of all, the facility reflects Hackensack University Medical Center’s commitment to providing the highest-quality care for patients close to where they live and work.

“Helen Theurer Pavilion is the epitome of a high reliability organization health care delivery model, both at a macro and micro level,” said Lisa Tank, M.D., FACP, CMD, chief medical officer, Hackensack University Medical Center. “The focus is on delivering consistent high quality patient and family centric care, by our exceptionally skilled interprofessional team in the state of the art facility, ensuring the best patient /team member experience.”

Hackensack University Medical Center, a 781-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital, was Bergen County’s first hospital founded in 1888. It was also the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet®-recognized hospital for nursing excellence, receiving its sixth consecutive designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The hospital has embarked on the largest healthcare expansion project ever approved by the state: Construction of the Helena Theurer Pavilion, a 530,000-sq.-ft., nine-story building, which began in 2019. A $714.2 million endeavor, the pavilion is one the largest healthcare capital projects in New Jersey and will house 24 state-of-the-art operating rooms with intraoperative MRI capability, 50 ICU beds, and 175 medical/surgical beds including a 50 room Musculoskeletal Institute.

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