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Why Dallas Is Building So Many Hospitals

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
11/25/14  11:21 PM PST
Texas construction hospitals

By Matt Goodman for Dallas/Fort Worth D Healthcare Daily

In late July, days before Methodist’s flagship hospital in Dallas began seeing patients at its new, $123 million trauma tower, Denton Wilson, the health system’s fast-talking assistant vice president of design and construction, asked me to close my eyes and imagine being wheeled through an ICU on a stretcher.

I pictured the bustle: Nurses pulled to the centralized nursing station as if it were a magnet, other patients gliding in and out of rooms, doctors eyeballing the charts in their hands. The worst part, though, was staring into those jarring, fluorescent lights in the ceiling. I imagined being jolted into further disorientation every few feet, my pupils dilating and shrinking.  

The fourth floor of Methodist’s new Charles A. Sammons Trauma Tower isn’t like that. The surgical ICU has decentralized nursing stations in the name of preventing logjams. Patients have private rooms with doors. They control their own lighting and temperature. And those glowing daggers illuminating the hallway have been replaced with dim lighting. It’s calming. 

Methodist is by no means the only system in North Texas employing these strategies in its new projects. But Wilson’s request was interesting: Close your eyes and picture what you’ve known; now open them and look at what it has become. 

There are examples of this in nearly every corner of the region, where new hospitals are cropping up to replace aging facilities and to meet the demands of a population that won’t stop growing.  

Ground zero is in Dallas’ Medical District, with Parkland Health & Hospital System’s monolithic new $1.3 billion building and UT Southwestern’s W-shaped William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital. The Hospital Corp. of America is betting on growth in the Alliance area, on the northern edge of Tarrant County, with a new facility. The luxury, physician-owned hospital system Forest Park Medical Center has staked its claim in Frisco, North Dallas, Southlake, and Fort Worth. And that’s only a sampling. 

Read Full Article at Dallas/Fort Worth D Healthcare Daily

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