Duluth hospital to open in Oct.

DULUTH - Gwinnett Medical Center Duluth is approximately 30 days from opening its doors.

The $81 million, six-floor facility, located on Howell Ferry Road between Pleasant Hill Road and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, is slated to open for patients by the end of October.

A special open house celebration is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 8.

The public is welcome to attend.

"We're just finishing up," said Gwinnett Health System president and CEO Phil Wolfe. "At this stage we're getting the furniture in and putting all the finishing touches on interiors and things like that.

"We could technically move in now, but we can't do that until the details are worked out."

Spokesman Kyle Brogdon said the 81-bed acute care facility is a state-of-the-art, all-digital hospital, offering a new center for orthopedics, three fully integrated operating rooms, paperless imaging services and wireless computer systems and communication modules.

Record-keeping will also been done digitally, marking the end of paper files.

Duluth is also the first all-digital hospital in the north metro area. The first all-digital hospital in the Atlanta area was DeKalb Medical Center, which opened last year, Brogdon said.

Wolfe said the next 30 or so days will also be devoted to training employees to familiarize themselves with the new technology.

"We've used the tagline that it's the hospital that Duluth citizens deserve, and we're proud to be a part of making it possible," Wolfe said.

The hospital replaces the 60-bed Joan Glancy Memorial Hospital, also in Duluth, which was Gwinnett's first acute care hospital.

Joan Glancy will be taken out of service at the same time Gwinnett Medical Center Duluth opens its doors, Brogdon said.

The other two acute care facilities in Gwinnett include the main campus in Lawrenceville and Emory Eastside in Snellville.

But the hospital is not the typical off-white building with doctors and nurses working around the clock, as it was specifically designed to take away that hospital feeling, providing a relaxed, resort-like atmosphere, Brogdon said.

Wolfe added that an important goal when constructing the new facility was to remove the negative feeling that many feel within the walls of a hospital.

"It's not your sterile institutional hospital like some are," Wolfe said. "It has more of a comfortable feel. It has a lot of warmth. We want that to be more of a less institutional and more comfortable for both the family and the patients."

For more information about the hospital system, visit www.gwinnettmedicalcenter.