Tech Drives St. Joseph Mercy’s New $145M Patient Tower


The $145-million south patient tower at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac — scheduled to open in early May — is set to improve the facility’s standard of care by offering only private rooms that offer cutting-edge technology.

“This project really builds on the premise that the environment and the technology that goes into a patient room is critical to caring for the patient and their family,” says Jack Weiner, St. Joseph’s president and CEO. “It’s all about using technology in different ways to drive healthy outcomes in our patients.”

He says the staff, for instance, will wear badges equipped with a real-time location system that will alert the hospital as to whether or not they have washed their hands upon entering and leaving a patient’s room. “If a staff member enters a room and does not wash their hands within a certain amount of time, we’ll remind them that they need to do that,” Weiner says.

Likewise, if a patient or smart bed alerts nursing staff regarding pain or vitals, the alarm will call a nurse directly. “If that nurse doesn’t answer, it will call the back-up nurse. Nothing falls through the cracks,” Weiner says.

Nurses and physicians can also prescribe patients with educational material that can be downloaded through the room’s television, which — prompted by sensors in staff badges — also displays the photo and credentials of nursing staff and other personnel as they enter the patient’s room.

Once the 204 beds are made available in the south tower, Weiner says the technology will expand in due time. “All of our patients in our existing medical, surgical beds will get the same exact level of technology that are new beds will provide,” he says.

Tours of the new tower will be open to the public during a community open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 26.