The house on the hill – The new Palomar Medical Center

ESCONDIDO – Nearly ten years ago, Palomar Health conceived an idea to build a health system for the future. The first piece of the master plan would be a new hospital infused with a sense of healing, innovation and flexibility – a place built entirely around the needs of patients and their families and a place where highly skilled physicians and staff are provided every capability to deliver their finest care.

Today, that once hopeful idea stands high on a hill in Western Escondido and is a testament to forward-thinking, generosity and the desire to meet the medical needs of a growing community. The new Palomar Medical Center opened its doors for care on August 19, 2012 – making it the first new hospital in North County San Diego in more than 30 years.

The journey

In 2004, taxpayers supported a $496-million construction bond, known as proposition BB. Their nod of approval allowed for the development of a master plan that would help shape the future of health care throughout Palomar Health’s 850-square-mile district.

The vision for the new Palomar Medical Center crystallized through an extensive planning process involving physicians, nurses, staff, volunteers, community leaders and health-care futurists who voiced heartfelt opinions and proposed creative, beyond-the-box


As expansion plans evolved, the concept of sustainable and flexible health-care design was adopted. This innovative approach would provide for the best healing environment while reducing environmental impact, optimizing patient safety and creating a facility that would stand the test of time. The result is a 740,000-square-foot architectural and technological masterpiece.

Patient rooms

One of the most highly anticipated features of the new facility is the all-private patient rooms. Each room averages 320-square-feet and includes a private bathroom, family visiting area and sleeper couch. A bedside control panel allows patients to manage their own environment, change lights, adjust temperature or airflow, raise or lower their window shades, use the flat screen television or call their nurse.

Distributed nursing stations located outside every patient room enable nurses to be closer to the bedside and to respond more quickly to patient needs. For families, numerous family consult rooms are available for loved ones to speak privately with a physician, spacious visitor lobbies and terraces provide respite and an inviting Terrace Café offers a wide variety of tasty dining


Emergency and trauma care

Expanded emergency and trauma services were a cornerstone of Proposition BB. The new Trauma Center and Emergency Department is designed for direct access to prompt care. Two new trauma suites are configured for three treatment stations each, but can accommodate up to five patients each in the event of a major emergency. The adjacent Emergency Department has 44 treatment rooms divided into three


Healing environment

From the moment you step into the new Palomar Medical Center, you will recognize that you have entered a peaceful, healing environment that rivals that of five-star hotels. Research shows that exposure to natural light helps to speed up the healing process. Rain or shine, night or day – patients, families, physicians and staff can enjoy outside views without ever leaving the building thanks to expansive windows, skylights, solar tubes and accessible outdoor terraces on every floor.

Innovations for today, tomorrow

A primary design goal was to build a facility that can easily adapt to future technologies and innovations. One example is the advanced surgery and procedures department where the use of open floor plates and minimal vertical obstructions provide for easier modifications to operating rooms as the practice of medicine changes.

To learn more about Palomar Medical Center, or to choose an affiliated

physician, call (800) 628-2880 or visit

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