New Stanford Hospital readies for its fall opening

With certificate of occupancy, hospital staff start training in and stocking new facility

The new Stanford Hospital's main atrium. Photo by Veronica Weber.

The new Stanford Hospital, a seven-story, plus-shaped complex that has been more than a decade in the making, reached a milestone on July 5 when it received a temporary certificate of occupancy from building inspectors, setting the stage for equipment and furniture to be moved in and thousands of staff to be trained in the new space.

The hospital's grand opening is scheduled for late October.

The 824,000-square-foot facility offers a new and expanded Level-1 trauma center and emergency department, individual patient rooms, advanced-technology operating rooms and five gardens with native California plants, among other features.

With minor construction remaining, hospital staff will soon be stocking the building with medical supplies and furnishings and eventually sterilizing the space that's been a construction zone for several years. Helen Wilmot, vice president of facilities services and planning, said in a statement this week that more than 4,000 physicians, nurses, staff and volunteers will undergo rigorous training this summer to familiarize themselves with the new hospital before it opens to patient care.

The hospital expects to bring the first patient through the door at the end of October or the first week of November, President and CEO David Entwistle said.

"I hope people will see they now have a resource that is available to everyone," he said Thursday.

Entwistle said the expanded hospital plays a vital regional role. Stanford is the only trauma center between San Francisco and San Jose, and it treats patients with a wide range of specialized medical conditions.

"At Stanford, the acuity of patients is the highest of any place I've ever been," said Entwistle, who was the top executive at other academic medical centers, including University of Utah Hospital & Clinics, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison, and City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California, before joining Stanford in 2016.

The new Stanford Hospital at 500 Pasteur Drive, which is built west of the old hospital, has been designed to provide a more patient- and family-friendly experience, said Jennifer Winder, Stanford Hospital’s public-relations manager for planning design and construction.

Each patient room contains a day bed for a family member that converts into a sofa and table. Other patient amenities include a 55-inch television screen in each room, patient-controlled room temperatures, and iPads to link patients to staff and families.

"There are no more visiting hours,” Winder said. “Family can stay overnight."

Privacy is also a key feature in the new emergency department, which has 76 private rooms rather than bays separated by curtains. It is twice the size of the current emergency department, Winder said.

Advances in medical care have been designed into the operating suites. With an interventional magnetic resonance imaging suite adjacent to operating rooms, patients can be scanned during surgery. If surgeons are removing a brain tumor, they can wheel the patient 10 to 15 feet into the imaging chamber to check immediately whether all of the tumor cells have been excised, Winder said.

Currently, doctors close up a patient after surgery to prepare them for imaging elsewhere in the hospital. The patient usually waits about two to three days for a second surgery if all of the tumor was not removed because it's perilous to reopen them again so quickly. The new setup will remove the necessity for the wait and second surgery, she said.

When the new hospital opens, Stanford will begin renovations in its old hospital building, including seismic retrofits and upgrading its patient rooms to become private. The older facility, which was built in 1959, will mainly be designated for cancer care, Winder said.

The old and new facilities are connected by a bridge and contain a total of 600 patient beds.

The hospital will host two community days on Sept. 14 and 15, during which the public will be able to tour the facility. A grand opening with ribbon cutting is scheduled for late October. More information is available at

The new Stanford Hospital by the numbers

• $2 billion cost

• 824,000 square feet of building space

• 368 new private rooms (600 total on the hospital campus)

• 3 acres of surgical floor space

• 3 MRIs

• 3 CTs

• 20 operating rooms

• 8 interventional/radiology image-guided rooms

• 1 interventional (iMRI) suite

• 5 gardens with walking trails

• 1 meditation room and interfaith chapel

• 30% reduced irrigation

• 35% less energy consumption

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