The WellSpan Spotlight

OR and ICU Mock-Ups Showcase More Space, Greater Efficiency

On April 5 and 6, 2022, about 300 WellSpan York Hospital team members toured a cardboard mock-up of different room set-ups for the Apex project to share feedback on placement, size and functionality. Throughout the project, WellSpan team members will have many ways to be part of the process and provide suggestions and feedback.


In a world where computer-generated renderings and virtual reality are architectural tools of the trade, sometimes a whole lot of cardboard is exactly what a design project calls for.

CannonDesign, the architecture firm engaged to design WellSpan York Hospital’s new Surgical and Critical Care Tower, constructed full-scale cardboard mock-ups of pre-op/post-op rooms, surgical suites and critical care units in unfinished space at Edgar Street.


In early April, hospital staff who work in these areas were invited to tour the mock-ups, review design concepts and – most importantly – share their feedback with members of the Surgical and Critical Care Tower design team.


“One of the guiding principles of this project is to prioritize our internal expertise,” said Lynne Kile, senior director of project operations. “The insights of our clinicians and others who are on the front line of care is critical. Dozens of staff members visited the mock-ups and provided feedback that will help make sure that the new OR and ICU spaces in the Surgical and Critical Care Tower will empower them to be their very best.”


Larger State-of-the-art Surgical Suites

Upon completion of the new tower, WellSpan York Hospital’s surgical suites will be significantly larger and accommodate the latest robotic surgical and advanced medical technology. In fact, the largest operating room in the hospital today will be smaller than the operating rooms in the new tower.


Pre-op/post-op spaces also will be larger, which will allow for more efficient use of ORs and getting patients to their recovery beds faster.

Additionally, the pre-op/post-op areas will offer greater patient privacy and reduced noise levels to create an environment that promotes healing.


Intensive Care Unit Expansion

The new Surgical and Critical Care Tower will more than double the hospital’s critical care capacity.

ICU rooms will be larger and every bed in the new tower will be ICU capable.


The expansion will alleviate operational congestion by improving access to inpatient beds and enabling a faster and more seamless admission process.

The ICU rooms also will provide a comfortable space for families who wish to stay with their loved one.


Attention to detail is a prominent theme in all aspects of the Surgical and Critical Care Tower design. And no detail is too small – including making sure that light switch panels are in the same location in each room, which earned a considerable amount of praise from staff who toured the mock-ups.


The new Surgical and Critical Care Tower is the centerpiece of Apex, an extensive project of moves and renovations which will significantly enhance WellSpan York Hospital to meet community needs and provide exceptional care for decades to come.


The new Surgical and Critical Care Tower is tentatively set to open in 2025.