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Growing demand led the Kansas City Orthopaedic Institute to nearly double its footprint, with the physician-owned hospital in Leawood opening its 22,000-square-foot expansion on Feb. 26.

The southern extension includes additional offices for physicians, inpatient beds and a new home for KCOI’s Ortho Urgent Care, which opened in the main hospital in late 2016.

“We’ve nurtured the idea for about two years. The need for our services kept growing exponentially,” KCOI CEO Dr. Charles Rhoades said. “There seems to not only be an increase in need from the general population for (orthopedics), but also a greatly increasing desire to come to facilities like ours.”

The first floor of the expansion includes a separate entry and waiting room area for urgent-care patients, as well as four urgent-care exam rooms. The feature provides after-hours care for less severe orthopedic injuries, such as fractures, sprains or torn ligaments. The ground floor also includes physician offices.

On the second floor, the expansion houses 17 inpatient rooms, nearly twice as many beds as before. Each room includes a patient status board, TV and photo of a Kansas City landmark encased behind glass, allowing for easy disinfection.

Kansas City architecture firm Pulse Design Group Inc. and JE Dunn Construction were contracted for the project. Kansas City-based Built Interior Construction LLC designed prefabricated interiors for the space, its first prefab hospital project.

Rhoades said KCOI opted for prefabricated construction to allow spaces to be converted or swapped out easily as needed in the future. For example, the physician offices on the first floor have the appropriate space and infrastructure to be converted into exam rooms.

“Overall demand is up in all sectors, but more and more (procedures are) being done on an outpatient basis that 10 years ago were being done on an inpatient basis,” Rhoades said. “From a long-term perspective as medicine changes, right now we desperately need more inpatient rooms, but the world may change in 10 years.”

With the first phase of the expansion complete, KCOI began renovations to its main building, which will add three operating rooms, for a total of eight. The total renovations will comprise about 32,000 square feet, and the hospital will remain open during this process.

Once both phases are complete, KCOI expects to have grown its total employment by about 35 to 50. The hospital has at least 25 surgeons on staff and is operated through a joint venture with Saint Luke's Health System.

“It’s grown a long way from three orthopedic surgeons,” Rhoades said.