- Appleton, Wisconsin-based contractor The Boldt Co. has installed its first modular unit in the Southeast U.S. to provide inpatient care for COVID-19 and other critically ill patients at Northside Hospital Gwinnett near Atlanta.
- Containing 71 patient rooms and support space, the 46,983-square-foot STAAT Mod unit was designed, fabricated, assembled on site, connected to hospital infrastructure and ready for patients in four months.
- The STAAT Mod system is engineered to hospital-grade standards and easily flexes to provide traditional inpatient capacity or critical care, according to a press statement. The units can be operated with or without airborne infection isolation rooms that provide increased safety for both patients and caregivers, Boldt said.
The units will help fill the immediate need for beds for COVID-19 patients as well as provide space for patients after the pandemic has subsided, said Debbie Mitcham, CEO of Northside Hospital in Gwinnett and Duluth.
The Atlanta region had been experiencing rapid growth even before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the hospital was looking for ways to increase bed capacity and flexibility, Mitcham said in the statement. “In less than four months, we’ve been able to do what would normally take us 15 months, and this investment enables us to provide a quality and a durable solution to serve our community throughout the uncertain curve of this infection.”
The rooms installed at Northside are a mix of critical care ICU, isolation rooms and lower-acuity spaces such as stepdown, medical surgical and observation rooms. They were constructed at The Boldt Co. factory starting in August and shipped via semi truck beginning in September for final site installation. The first wing opened for patients on Oct. 21, and the completed unit was turned over to Northside on Dec. 7.
Other U.S. contractors have developed modular solutions to help fight the spread of the novel coronavirus. The WorkWell modular system from Turner Construction Co. and the Citizen Care Pod from PCL provide safe settings for health screenings at entrances to buildings and public spaces where infection control is a concern.
The units have a 20-year lifespan, making them a good option to help support a hospital’s longer-term strategy, said Kurt Spiering, principal and healthcare market sector leader at architecture firm HGA, which designed the modules.
“It can be adapted and assembled in many different arrangements and answers the escalating demand for flexible treatment space as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in a statement.
The first STAAT Mod opened in May at Adventist HealthCare Fort Washington Medical Center in Maryland, where 12 modules were installed adjacent to the hospital to offer 16 private ICU rooms with isolation and support space.