First look at Kaiser's new high-tech East Bay hospital

Thursday, May 29, 2014
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ABC7 has an early look at the new high-tech hospital that Kaiser's opening in San Leandro to replace its aging facility in Hayward.

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KGO) -- There is a one in three chance that you get your health care through Kaiser Permanente here in the Bay Area. This year Kaiser is opening three new hospitals. The first of them, off Interstate 880 in San Leandro, will replace Kaiser's aging facility in Hayward. ABC7 News got an early look at the new high-tech hospital just days before it opens.

From the moment you walk in, it's clear this isn't your grandparents' hospital.

Starting with touchscreen maps that send directions to your phone, Kaiser's using technology to give its new hospital some hospitality.

"We should have very empty waiting rooms," Robert Greenberg, M.D., Physician-in-Chief. "That's a real mark of success."

They say that'll happen thanks to new intake rooms.

"I've got the advantage of video here where this ophthalmologist can be consulting with me directly," Greenburg explained

The sprawling emergency department has its own radiology unit.

"So you can come in right here, be on this table and have a CT within minutes," said Greenburg.

And it's ready for disasters, with outdoor chemical showers and its own power plant.

"We have a four day backup supply of power and water," Greenburg said.

Inside, you won't find many dry erase boards. Messages are all done on a television screen that's also for ordering food, healthy food.

"And it'll actually prevent them from doing certain things like ordering 10 pieces of bacon," said Kaiser nurse Daniel Villanova.

The new technology extends to the operating room where they have as much video gear as the set of "Grey's Anatomy." But hopefully a lot less drama.

Doctors can do minimally invasive procedures, looking at a giant screen, using controls that look like a video game.

And for after surgery, nurses demonstrated a lift that helps them get patients of any size to the bathroom.

And for patients of the smallest size, a special device will go on the ankle of every newborn. Babies can't get lost. And preemies get private rooms.

"A lot of peace and quiet for the families as well as what it provides for infection control," Greenburg said.

In fact, that's why every room at the hospital is private. Including some with their own ventilation.

"The airflow from this room does not go out to the rest of the building," Greenburg said.

It's expensive to build. But they believe it's cheaper in the long run.

He explains, "If we can prevent you from getting a hospital acquired infection, for example, what it saves for us and for you as a patient down the road is immeasurable."