While construction continues on the new UPMC Hamot patient tower, contractors are getting input directly from local nurses.

Crews have built a mock intensive care unit (ICU) room, which nurses and hospital staff toured Thursday afternoon. The rooms are fully furnished with medical equipment and furniture so nurses and aids can get a feel for the new design.

Nurses, in turn, provide input to the contractors on placement and design for use in the new patient tower. Hospital officials say this process allows concerns to be addressed before being built.

"I think the way that the rooms are set up and how they're designing them are a lot more cohesive as to what nurses actually need," Annie Ball, a trauma ICU nurse at UPMC Hamot said. "Like I said we need the families to be at the bedside and then on the other side of the room we can have our ventilators set up, we can have our dialysis set up and that stuff's not in the way."

The mockup connects construction crews with the end users of the spaces and eliminates re-work which causes extra costs to these kinds of projects.

The $111 million patient tower is expected to be completed in December of 2020, with an expected open date in 2021.