Project Study: Ortho center keeps pace with boomers


By John Mugford

The 372,000 square foot facility that houses the Swedish Orthopedic Institute
in Seattle is connected to the main hospital on the system’s First Hill campus
via a pedestrian bridge on the third floor. The 372,000 square foot building
opened in the summer of 2008.
Photo courtesy of NBBJ

There’s no mystery about what drove the building of a large, heavily glass-encased facility on the First Hill campus of Swedish Medical Center in Seattle: demand for orthopedic surgery and services, mostly from baby boomers.

From 1996 to 2006, orthopedic demand at Swedish’s three inpatient hospitals in the Seattle area grew a substantial 31 percent, prompting the system to explore options for a new stand-alone facility.

In addition, Swedish officials knew that recent evidence has been pointing to better clinical outcomes for patients treated at specialized orthopedic facilities.

The result is the year-old orthopedic facility on the site of Swedish’s 697-bed main hospital, otherwise known as the First Hill campus.

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