UMC Utrecht is building the hospital of the future: a place where the best care for our patients, a pleasant work environment for our employees, and an optimal training climate for our students will come together. Topics like sustainability, efficiency and flexibility are of course of the highest importance here. Our guiding principle is to accommodate the needs of the users of buildings and areas, such as patients, visitors, employees, students and cooperation partners.
Strategic development outlook for accommodation
In 2018, we started with the development of an integral outlook for the future of our accommodation. More than 30 years have now passed since UMC Utrecht was built, which makes renovation essential. Since then, developments in the fields of care, education, research and technology have also taken place at incredible speed. Besides that, our physical environment - the Utrecht Science Park - has changed considerably. These changes were sped up by the COVID pandemic and continuing digitalization.
Patient care increasingly takes place at home and digitally, and patients have more and more of a say in their own care process. This has changed the role of the healthcare professional, the care process, and the needed accommodation facilities. We have worked this out in our longterm outlook on care . During the COVID pandemic, our office employees mostly worked from home, and in the future, hybrid working will remain the standard. This means that fewer fixed workstations and more flex areas will be necessary, and that there is a need for meeting areas where hybrid consultation can take place (with some colleagues who are physically present, and others who are connecting from home via video). Adjustments in and to our building and our environment are therefore essential.
By means of phasing we will ensure that primary processes remain fully operational throughout the entire renovation
Our strategic development outlook for accommodation consists of seven programs, namely: outside areas, public areas, outpatient clinics, clinics, offices, Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital (WKZ), and the Central Sterilization Department (CSA). We will be conducting these programs in six phases over the next fifteen years. That way we will be flexible and can continue along the way to respond to societal changes and the changing expectations of users. During the execution process, we shall keep asking for input and continuously adapt our plans accordingly. During renovation, some inconvenience for patients, visitors and staff will be unavoidable. By means of phasing we will ensure that primary processes remain fully operational throughout the entire renovation.
Opening of the Central Sterilization Department (CSA)
In January 2021, we opened our new Central Sterilization Department (CSA) . The sterilization of all medical devices in UMC Utrecht is handled at CSA. This new, innovative department is controlled by robot technology. It is a first in Europe. As robots relieve staff of the ergonomic burden of, for example, lifting heavy packages of instruments, the department can respond flexibly and dynamically to supply and demand, and ensure that the right instruments are always in the right place at the right time.
Opening of a second hybrid OR
In April 2021, a second hybrid OR was opened at UMC Utrecht. In this OR, state-of-the-art image technology (image-guided therapy) and innovative OR apparatus are combined so that we can perform image-guided operations on patients with acute trauma or acute vascular disorders. Image-guided operations are less invasive for patients, since there is less need to open the patient’s body.
Operating room for children with brain tumors
Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, which is part of UMC Utrecht, and the Princess Máxima Center are building together on an ultra-modern operating room to treat brain tumors in children. The first pile for this ‘Intra-Operative MRI OR’ was driven in June 2021, and the operating room will be completed by mid-2022. There are only a few places worldwide where such a combination of MRI and OR is used in practice. An MRI in an operating room has important benefits. It makes it possible to get new MRI scans of the operated area while neurosurgery is happening. This gives surgeons real-time information on the size of the remaining tumor, and how it connects with healthy surrounding brain tissue. The neurosurgeon can then remove more tumor tissue more safely and precisely, which may prevent the need for a follow-up operation.
There are only a few places worldwide where such a combination of MRI and OR is used in practice.
Ronald McDonald House in Utrecht
At the end of 2021, together with the city of Utrecht, the province of Utrecht, Utrecht University, and Ronald McDonald House, we chose the new location for the Ronald McDonald House in Utrecht . The new Ronald McDonald House will be in or near the still-to-be-built entrance building of UMC Utrecht. This location, just like the present one, is close to the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital as well as the Princess Máxima Center, which means that parents can quickly be with their children. In addition, development at this location will have a minimal impact on the natural environment and nearby UNESCO world heritage site of the ‘Hollandse Waterlinies’ (Dutch water lines). This choice is in line with the wishes of local residents and other parties not to build in green areas, and with it we are taking an important step in accomplishing our goal to let our buildings fit in even better with the needs of our patients, students and staff.