New Draper hospital spares no expense to lure customers
If you need cancer care or specialized surgery on your heart or brain, Utah's newest hospital is not for you.
But if you want to Tweet and Facebook images of your knee surgery or ease labor pains in the warm embrace of a whirlpool bath, the sparkling new amenities at Lone Peak Hospital are geared to please.
Lone Peak, located off Interstate 15 in Draper, opened its doors on Tuesday. The 30-bed hospital, an add-on to a 2-year-old standalone emergency department, secures MountainStar's place in a growing and lucrative market in the southern Salt Lake Valley.
The for-profit health chain has been monitoring growth in Draper for the past six years, expanding services strategically, according to Mark Meadows, Lone Peak's CEO.
"We will follow our plans for smart growth and expand our services only as patient care demands."
Draper is young and growing; its population has bloomed 54 percent since 2000. It is Utah's second-wealthiest city and it boasts one of the state's lowest uninsured rates.
And MountainStar, owned by the health care giant HCA Healthcare, is sparing no expense wooing its residents. The $54 million Lone Peak Hospital was built without tax breaks or economic incentives.
The second floor is dedicated to maternity care, featuring 10 warmly adorned delivery rooms with Internet access, flat-panel TVs, glider chairs for new nursing moms and sleeper sofas for dads.
The operating rooms are voice-operated and fully digital, equipped with cameras that allow surgeons to capture and edit video clips. The images are stored on a secure server and can be accessed and edited by the surgeon and shared with colleagues and family members via a smartphone or tablet.
"In the old days, the doctor would come out and say, 'The surgery went well,'" said Pete Keiley, an OR nurse at Lone Peak.
"This is more efficient, it's cleaner and it's more patient-friendly."
The iSuite operating rooms, priced at a quarter-of-a-million dollars and nearly three times the traditional cost, promise a speedy return on investment.
The cameras feed TV screens in the operating room, providing a bird's-eye view of the surgical site to nurses and techs, explained Keiley.
All the arthroscopic equipment, normally wheeled in on carts, is integrated and suspended from the ceiling. And it's "voice controlled," which means it can be operated for some tasks without touching it.
There are no cords to trip over and having equipment in easy reach helps control infections, said Kelly Beckstead, director of surgical services at Lone Peak.
And all these efficiencies reduce the amount of time patients must be kept under anesthesia, cutting costs and speeding their recovery.
"Every time we have to grab another cart it costs 10 to 15 minutes," Keiley said.
Lone Peak isn't without competitors.
Intermountain Healthcare has a hospital in Riverton featuring an inpatient satellite of Primary Children's Medical Center. The hospital chain expanded Sandy-based Alta View hospital's emergency room in 2009. And the University of Utah operates a health center in neighboring South Jordan.
These hospitals continue to thrive, despite Utah's lowest per person health care spending in the country.
The construction of Lone Peak's emergency room in 2010 didn't noticeably draw business away from Alta View, said Intermountain Healthcare spokesman Jess Gomez. "Frankly, we were more impacted by the expansion of our hospital in Riverton."
Utah is a growth state and its health care industry has conservatively kept pace, said Utah Hospital Association spokeswoman Jill Vicory. The American Hospital Association reports the number of inpatient beds in Utah increased 17. 5 percent between 2000 and 2010, while the population over that period rose 24 percent.
Utah's newest hospital
Located off State Street and 11800 South, Lone Peak Hospital features an emergency room and outpatient clinics. It has a 10-bed maternity ward and four operating suites where surgeons can perform general surgeries, including ear, nose and throat, gynecologic and orthopedic procedures.