By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The lobby of the newest luxury building in the heart of Copacabana features a grand piano, plush sofas, artwork from Japanese artist Yutaka Toyota, and a restaurant with a menu designed by Sofitel head chef, Roland Villard. But, while the latest addition to the neighborhood could easily be mistaken for a new five-star luxury hotel or posh residential building, it’s actually Rio’s newest top-of-the-line private hospital, Copa Star.
The premium medical facility, which opened earlier this month at Rua Figueiredo de Magalhães is part of the D’Or network of hospitals. According to Jorge Moll, President of the D’Or Institute, the group’s objective with Copa Star was to create the most modern hospital in the country. “We are going to create a new paradigm of the five-star hospital, both in terms of equipment and patient influx,” Moll told O Globo news.
The R$400 million hospital will specialize in cardiology and neurology and hopes to not just rival, but surpass some of Brazil’s top hospitals, such as Albert Einstein Hospital and Hospital Sírio-Libanês, both in São Paulo.
With 21,000 square meters, Copa Star has nine operating rooms, 155 patient suites, and 59 Intensive Care Units (ICU) rooms. The facility boasts state-of-the-art equipment, including a neurosurgery facility with MRI and diagnostic systems, robotics, and smart operating rooms and patient areas.
“We developed an app specifically for the hospital,” said Moll. “On an iPad, located at the head of the bed, the patient can control lights, curtains, call the nurse, video conference with the doctor, while the doctor can use the tablet to show the patient their radiology exams.”
In an effort to add warmth to the normally sanitized hospital environment, the building’s architecture lets in natural light that radiates everywhere, and works of art are seen throughout. Over two hundred of Toyota’s pieces are displayed in the hospital.
Copa Star’s ICU area has a curious novelty where ICU patients, normally isolated from the outside world, can connect with the outside world thanks to video technology.
“One of the problems in the ICU is that patients are isolated and can develop what we call confinement syndrome,” explained neurosurgeon Paulo Niemeyer, who helped design Copa Star’s ICU, to O Globo. “[The patient] does not know if it’s day or night, it is disorienting. But, here there will be a camera to the street, and the images will appear on those screens, functioning like windows.”
And Copa Star patients can expect to see more than just street scenes as cameras have also been mounted on the roof of the nine-story building, broadcasting real-time images of the ocean off the neighborhood’s iconic beach.
The hospital staff tops out at 550, including doctors, nurses and support personnel. All of the hospital’s registered nurses received two months of special training at the facility in various situations, ranging from how to deal with typical issues facing patients on a daily basis to more extreme simulated crisis situations featuring professional actors.
According to D’Or representatives, the group hopes to soon open additional Copa Star hospitals in São Paulo and Brasilia.