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High-Tech Jacobs Medical Center Opens In La Jolla

Reported by Nicholas Mcvicker

Photo credit: UC San Diego Health

The 10-story Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla is shown in this undated photo.

The new state-of-the-art medical facility in La Jolla cost nearly $1 billion to construct and includes plenty of amenities.

The entry floor looks like the lobby of a resort. It has comfortable furniture and is bathed in natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows. But it's not a resort. It's a hospital: the Jacobs Medical Center opened in La Jolla becoming the latest addition to the UC San Diego Health system.

The new hospital stands 10 stories tall and is filled with the latest state-of-the-art medical equipment. The high-tech experience starts when you walk in the door; instead of checking in with a receptionist, you check in with a machine that resembles an automatic teller. The experience continues in the patient rooms, where each room has its own iPad that controls temperature and lighting and contains all of the patient's medical records.

On the eighth floor, you'll find a 52-bed neonatal intensive care unit. Among the first patients admitted to the unit were the Kircher triplets: Grady, Luke, and Wyatt. They each weighed less than three pounds when they were born prematurely at 28 weeks.

Their mom, Christine Kircher, said she appreciated having a private room.

"It’s just so nice to have this space and to be able to spend the night with your babies," Kircher said. "I think as a mother, when you have babies, all you want to do is spend time with them.”

Photo credit: UC San Diego Health

One of 15 operating rooms at Jacobs Medical Center is shown in this undated photo.

The Jacobs Medical Center has 245 private patient rooms and 15 operating rooms.

Patty Maysent, chief executive officer of UC San Diego Health, said the new hospital is equipped to handle to the most complex medical problems and patients undergoing these advanced procedures will also have special amenities.

“In our sixth floor, they’ll be able to walk around, go into a gym. It’s all positively pressured, so it’s going to provide a great experience for those patients," Maysent said.

She said there is a lot more to providing quality patient care than just administering medical treatments.

“It’s hugely important to create a great experience for the patient and family," she said. "It aids in healing. It prepares them to go home.”

The Jacobs Medical Center cost $993 million. It was built through a combination of philanthropy, UC San Diego funds and debt.

Disclosure: Irwin Jacobs is a major funder of KPBS.

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