St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida, US has opened its $126m expansion, following an early opening of some patient rooms in July to cater to Covid-19 patients.

A new main entry with covered drop off and 90 private patient rooms on its three top floors of the six-storey tower have been part of the expansion project.

The ground floor is meant for easy access to patient registration and security, while the second floor houses conference space for ongoing education along with a pedestrian bridge linking to St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital.

St. Joseph’s Hospital president Kimberly Guy said: “When we broke ground on this project in April 2018, we had no idea what 2020 would bring. As it turns out, we’re able to provide our community with additional resources in the midst of a global pandemic.

“We’re following in the steps of our founders, the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, who opened the original St. Joseph’s Hospital in 1934 during the Great Depression.”

The hospital expansion is expected to provide increased comfort for patients and their visitors, with private rooms in the new tower and also the original building opened in 1967.

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Guy added: “Our goal is to enhance the patient experience in a space designed for the way we want to be cared for today. Patients will enjoy spacious rooms complete with our GetWellNetwork that offers education and entertainment.

“Meanwhile, our staff can stay closer to patients with ‘touch down’ work stations and decentralised supply storage areas that save steps.”

In July, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration granted approval to open 30 rooms in the new patient tower.