COOS BAY – The October debut of Bay Area Hospital’s fourth floor will complete the hospital’s pivotal transition to all-new, all-private rooms for general inpatient care.

The hospital’s staff will move patients into the new rooms on Oct. 15, completing the final stage of a four-year, $55 million project dubbed “The Hospital of the Future.” With the fourth floor finished, all inpatients in medical, surgical and intensive-care units will have private rooms featuring state-of-the-art technology, privacy and safety.

“I would put our inpatient units up against anybody,” said Paul Janke, the hospital’s president and chief executive officer.

The new floor will house the hospital’s newly unified Medical Care Unit, treating patients for a wide range of medical conditions. Some rooms are specially equipped for cancer patients, kidney dialysis patients, or pediatric patients. The unit also will accommodate “telemetry patients” being monitored for conditions such as cardiac arrhythmias.

Hospital leaders say the shift to all-private rooms is about healing, not luxury. Research shows private rooms reduce the risk of infection and medication errors, and they help patients sleep better.

Each of the 30 rooms has a computer for doctors and nurses to access medical records. Patient amenities include private bathrooms, flat-screen televisions, and daybeds where family members can stay the night.

“It’s really important for our cancer patients to have their support system nearby,” said Jenny Tausch, a registered nurse and the new unit’s clinical supervisor.

Rooms for cancer patients are designed to maintain higher air pressure than the outside hallway. This “positive pressure” helps protect patients from airborne germs, by pushing air outward from the room.

At the opposite corner of the unit, pediatric rooms will feature negative air pressure to help contain infectious diseases. The pediatric area also features artwork geared for children.

The three lower floors of the four-story addition opened in September 2013, leaving the fourth floor temporarily unfinished. The second and third floors contain the hospital’s intensive care and post-surgical units.

Consolidating the Medical Care Unit on the fourth floor vacates space in the hospital’s older section. Part of the older section’s second floor will become the new Observation and Overflow Unit, accommodating patients who are hospitalized briefly for observation, with additional beds held in reserve for spikes in hospital occupancy.

Other parts of the second floor will be remodeled for various uses, including a nondenominational chapel.

Along with new patient rooms, the “Hospital of the Future” enhances South Coast medical care with the Prefontaine Cardiovascular Center, robotic-assisted surgery, an outpatient infusion area, a cardiac rehabilitation center, a remodeled physical therapy facility, and a wound care center offering hyperbaric oxygen therapy.