Innovative Design

The New Stamford Hospital: Built with Patients and Families in Mind

Craig Andrews, Communications Director, Stamford Health
Stamford, Connecticut

Craig Andrews, Communications Director, Stamford Health
Stamford, Connecticut

Fifteen years ago, the leaders at Stamford Health in Connecticut had a vision to create a facility that would deliver an exceptional healthcare experience for patients and families. One that would include the best talent and the best technology. It would not be easy — and there would be many challenges. But they knew it had to be done to provide leading care for the community, now and into the future.

In late September 2016, the new 640,000-square-foot Stamford Hospital opened. More than simply a gleaming new building, it represents a vehicle for reimagining healing for the Fairfield County and beyond.

The new facility provides a unique healing environment, and is likely the only new hospital of its kind to be built in Connecticut for many years. This beautiful building is already supporting advanced care, attracting leading clinicians, and creating a more calming and welcoming atmosphere to benefit our patients, their families, and our staff. 

In addition to incorporating advanced technology, each space was carefully designed with the input of clinical staff, caregivers, patients, and families. The use of natural light, soft interior elements, noise control, and wayfinding helps to create a sustainable, calming, and welcoming setting, consistent with the Hospital’s Planetree philosophy of patient-centered care. The result is a unique healing environment that enhances the hospital experience for both patients and visitors. 

Every one of the 180 new inpatient rooms is private, and features extraordinary views of Western Connecticut or Long Island Sound. The rooms were designed to be restorative, infection free, and family supportive.

Plans for ongoing Hospital development in 2017 include the expansion of facilities at the Bennett Cancer Center, the opening of the Cohen Pediatric Unit, and the opening of outpatient and inpatient orthopedic services in collaboration with the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). 

The state-of-the-art Stamford Hospital also incorporates innovative technology to improve clinical outcomes and enhance the patient experience. Patient rooms are equipped with the GetWellNetwork, which provides a range of entertainment options, interactive services with free internet access, and educational information to help engage patients in their own care. This network also facilitates communication with other departments in the hospital in real time. For example, Environmental Services is alerted immediately if a patient feels the room is too hot or cold, and Facilities is contacted if the room needs to be cleaned. 

Patient identification badges keep track of their whereabouts in the facility. If a patient is not in his or her room when a loved one visits, the badge lets nurses know exactly where the patient may be ambulating, which is comforting to family members and other visitors.

Additionally, the family waiting area outside of the operating room now includes a patient tracking board with real-time locating system (RTLS) technology. This HIPAA-compliant tool helps ease the family’s worry about their loved one by complementing face-to-face communication as patients move through the surgical process, from pre-op to the OR and then to the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU). 

A New Emergency Department for the Community

People come to the Emergency Room in their moments of distress to be comforted and healed. Today, Stamford Hospital’s new open and airy 52,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Emergency Department (ED) is staffed by caring providers. Designated a Level II trauma center, the Hospital’s ED team provides acute critical care as well as care for a full range of major and less serious illnesses and injuries. A helipad on the 11th floor can be used to facilitate patient transfer should more specialized care be required.

Overall, the ED capacity has increased significantly in the new building with a total of 54 private treatment rooms and a more spacious layout, facilitating greater patient privacy, improved patient flow, and more effective working space for providers. Digital x-rays and ultrasounds can be performed at the bedside to avoid having to move the patient. Most importantly, there are separate and dedicated treatment areas for cardiac care, behavioral health, trauma, and pediatric patients.

Children are cared for in the Cohen Pediatric ED, a facility backed by a team of subspecialists including pediatric cardiology, neurology, anesthesiology, orthopedics, and urology. The Pediatric ED features a dedicated waiting area, eight private exam rooms, and a pediatric trauma room, all designed and decorated specifically for the unique treatment of the pediatric population. 

The Pediatric ED is a game-changer for Stamford Hospital, because no one in the area offers anything that can compare.

Centralizing Cardiovascular Services for Optimal Care 

The new Stamford Hospital brings together all of the Heart & Vascular Institute’s (HVI) expertise and services under one roof to provide the highest level of patient-centered cardiovascular care in the region. Having the services in one location makes accessing care easier and more convenient for patients and their families, and facilitates communication among clinical team members. 

The HVI is a 27,000-square-foot space on a dedicated wing of the Hospital, where its signature departments — Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Interventional Cardiology, Electrophysiology, and Non-invasive Cardiology — are side by side, along with advanced facilities including the Cardiac Catheterization (Cath) and Electrophysiology (EP) labs. 

The HVI’s new single care setting enables the heart team to work cohesively and expediently to arrive at a diagnosis and treatment approach. This maximizes the opportunity for patients to receive the critically important information they need to make decisions about their care.

As Lower Fairfield County’s only comprehensive cardiovascular program, the HVI meets the continuously growing demand for innovative cardiac services in its new cutting-edge labs, including the Discovery Lab, a “hybrid” Cath/EP lab named for its dual-camera technology that allows cardiac specialists to visualize the nuances of heart disease and treat them with multidisciplinary approaches such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

The Planetree philosophy of patient-centered care is deeply woven into every facet of the new HVI, from its aesthetically pleasing patient areas to 15 private holding bays for patients before and after they undergo a cardiac procedure. Each spacious bay has its own bathroom and is outfitted with imaging equipment that enables the patient, physician, and family to view the procedural pictures as well as discuss results together in comfort and privacy. 

Comprehensive Treatment for Heart Rhythm Disorders

Led by Dr. Sandhya Dhruvakumar, Stamford Health’s Director of Electrophysiology, Stamford Health’s electrophysiologists are regional leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, offering a full spectrum of treatment options such as medication, cardioversion, and cardiac ablation. Additional options include cryo AF ablation and hybrid ablation (also known as the convergent procedure).

“Our team has the capabilities to treat the most straightforward to very complex arrhythmias and, in fact, we are very experienced at treating the more complex cases,” added Dr. Dhruvakumar. “Additionally, our new EP lab has cutting-edge equipment — such as 3D mapping systems and radiographic imaging to diagnose the origin of the arrhythmia — in a spacious suite that permits the seamless integration of technologies in real time. This improves our ability to diagnose and better guide our patients’ treatment.”

Learn more about Stamford Health’s expansive cardiology and cardiac care services at: