Magazine explores how the new Stanford Hospital blends technology and innovation to improve care

This issue contains stories behind the development of the new hospital as well as articles about the work being done there.

- By Patricia Hannon

We can’t be sure what our world will look like 100 years from now, let alone imagine the new technology that will be at our disposal to improve our lives, our work and our health. But a large contingent of people tasked with planning the new Stanford Hospital were asked to imagine a facility that can serve our community for decades to come.

The result of their musings is a building filled with sunlight; a high-tech hub of healing and comfort for patients and their families; and a place of collaboration, innovation and well-being for employees and clinicians.

“We’ve created an environment to match the high caliber of the care they provide, while offering patients and families an atmosphere that has been designed to promote healing at every step,” David Entwistle, president and CEO of Stanford Health Care, said in the latest issue of Stanford Medicine magazine about the new 824,000-square-foot hospital, which welcomed its first patients Nov. 17.

Technology throughout the hospital is designed to smooth patient comfort and care. Medical equipment alarms, for instance, are no longer audible in patient rooms; instead, nurses and physicians receive alerts on hand-held devices. And bedside technology gives patients control over room lighting, window shades, temperature and entertainment options.

In a letter to readers, Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine, called the hospital “a beautiful, serene setting for healing that is also an advanced incubator where we can cultivate our vision of precision health.”

In the issue, you’ll read the stories behind the development of the new hospital as well as articles about the work being done there:

  • In an article about the new hospital, George Tingwald, MD, Stanford Medicine’s administrative director of medical planning, and others discussed how the design combines with the latest medical and communications technology to put patient wellness first. An accompanying video — including an interview with a former patient and his wife — described how the patient-centric philosophy developed and was realized. 
  • In a series of podcasts, contributing editor Paul Costello interviewed three people who were instrumental in the hospital’s development:
    Tingwald discussed how his background as a surgeon and an architect played out in designing the new hospital.
    Gary Fritz, vice president and chief of applications, shared what it took to ensure that deeply interconnected technology supports both care teams and patients.
    Alpa Vyas, vice president of patient experience for Stanford Health Care, explained the importance of finding a balance between innovation and the human touch.
  • In a story exploring the new hospital’s more than 400 pieces of art and acres of meditative garden spaces, some of the artists whose work is featured shared their inspirations.
  • Stanford physicians and researchers intent on alleviating patients’ concerns about surgery have developed programs to better prepare patients for the procedures and recovery. Also, new surgical ICU suites are helping enhance post-surgery care.
  • As the new Marc and Laura Andreessen Emergency Department was being planned, clinicians and staffers helped design workspaces that could aid collaboration. But it’s only one example of efforts to build a culture of teamwork.
  • In a search for more reliable guides than visual and tactile cues, brain surgeons have turned to technology, including using MRIs in the operating room. Some new surgical suites contain MRIs to give surgeons clearer views, in real time.
  • Food service teams accustomed to working shoulder to shoulder will have 7,700 more square feet of space to coordinate and prepare about 1,300 meals a day, accommodating as many as 100 different diets.

Also in this issue, read about a group of physicians who, frustrated by unexpectedly negative patient outcomes, created an algorithm to help determine the odds of individual patients responding well to cancer treatments; new research that explains the role damaged mitochondria play in neurodegenerative diseases; and how having an in-house school ensures that learning doesn’t stop when a child is hospitalized.

Print copies of the magazine are being sent to subscribers. Others can request a copy at (650) 723-6911 or by sending an email to

About Stanford Medicine

Stanford Medicine is an integrated academic health system comprising the Stanford School of Medicine and adult and pediatric health care delivery systems. Together, they harness the full potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education and clinical care for patients. For more information, please visit

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