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STAAT MOD Patient Bed Expansion at M Health Fairview – St. John’s Hospital

Crowding and capacity constraints continue to stress hospitals nationwide as the number of patients seeking care increases, and the ability to discharge them to more appropriate levels of care decreases.

Emergency Department (ED) and inpatient medicine teams at M Health Fairview St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood have tirelessly confronted this challenge, facing a 5 percent rise in inpatient visits and a staggering 12 percent increase in ED visits since 2022. With limited capacity and space, and a commitment to improve patient care while visits are only expected to grow, teams at St. John’s devised a strategy for improving patient flow by expanding the emergency department, reorganizing existing services, and — now — opening a new, purpose-built “short-stay and observation unit” to support newly developed workflows.

Construction firm The Boldt Company, and interdisciplinary design firm, HGA were engaged by St. John’s Hospital to deliver a 16-bed ICU patient observation wing onto the existing facility, built to over 90 percent completion offsite in Appleton, Wisc., then seamlessly transported and installed on the St. John’s campus – the first of its kind in the state of Minnesota. The fully structural volumetric modular building added 16 observation rooms, two staff support areas, patient bathrooms, staff toilet rooms, soiled and clean utility, equipment storage, medication room, nourishment alcove, P-Tube station, AHU mechanical yard and I.T., and water and electrical rooms.

modular hospital unit

“In the face of escalating patient visits, our ED and inpatient medicine teams have been proactive and innovative in their response,” said Will Nicholson, MD, vice president of medical affairs for M Health Fairview St. John’s, Woodwinds, and Bethesda hospitals. “This approach is a game-changer. It allows us to rapidly develop the needed space without impeding current operations.”


Construction of the unit began offsite in September. Crews delivered the prefabricated unit to St. John’s in late November, and teams completed final construction and furnishing, opening the addition to patients in mid-January.“We’re facing a very real need for patient bed space in our country right now.” said David Thomack, chief operating officer with Boldt. “Every day that is spent in planning, design, or construction is another day that hospitals and patients must do without those beds. Using a modular approach, we’re delivering that space in half the time traditional construction would take, without sacrificing durability, quality, or affordability, allowing healthcare providers to see patients months sooner.”This project represents the latest iteration of Boldt and HGA’s award-winning STAAT MOD product. Originally designed to help healthcare providers meet surging demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, STAAT MOD has evolved beyond its initial temporary design, into a permanent, high-quality, and aesthetically pleasing modular healthcare solution.

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