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New Hamon Tower at Texas Health Dallas Features Critical Care Advances, Potential for Reduced Costs
10/01/2009

DALLAS — Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas announced today the opening of the Hamon Tower, the largest expansion in the hospital’s history. The new medical complex is devoted to intensive care for the region’s most critically ill patients.

Hamon Tower Dedication
With investments in the latest generation of diagnostic technologies and new clinical programs for ICU patients, Hamon Tower is designed to make hospital care more comfortable and efficient for patients.

“Twenty-five years ago, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas changed the way women and newborns are cared for with the opening of the Margot Perot Center for Women and Infants,” said Philip M. Wentworth, interim president of Texas Health Dallas. “Today, Perot, as it’s simply known around the region, is synonymous with nursing excellence, compassionate care and quality medical care. Hamon will put that same kind of stamp on critical care medicine in North Texas.”

The building, named in honor of Dallas philanthropist Nancy B. Hamon, features 460,000 square feet of new space, with 177 private rooms and a major expansion of the hospital's intensive care units and other critical care areas.

Clinical programs and technological advances are aimed at post-operative intensive care of the most complex cases. The facility also offers advanced medical and surgical care, with telemetry units for cardiovascular, orthopedic and neurology patients.

“With advanced diagnostic technologies and a specially designed program for the care of ICU patients, the goal is rapid diagnosis, early treatment, reduction of complications and shorter ICU and hospital stays,” said Dr. Tom Shires, chair of surgical services at Texas Health Dallas. “This is the future of hospital-based medicine, and North Texans can be proud to count Hamon among their healthcare choices.”

Advanced diagnostics include the state’s first-ever Flash CT machine, a new type of CAT scan that provides cardiac and other imaging with significantly less radiation — and no need for medications to slow the patient’s heart rate. Other diagnostic technologies include a new type of MRI machine that provides the high quality imaging of traditional MRI without the small tube that makes many patients claustrophobic.

“The new CT and MRI machines featured in Hamon will give us the best of both worlds,” said Dr. Cynthia Sherry, chair of radiology at Texas Health Dallas. “It’s a theme carried out in every aspect of the facility’s design and technology: improving the comfort level of the patient and improving the care they receive.”

A new intensivist program puts the care of ICU patients under the guidance of board-certified critical care physicians, who directly oversee patient care in the ICU throughout the day.

“The traditional model is to have pulmonologists and other critical care physicians on call,” said Dr. Gary Weinstein, chief of critical care medicine at Texas Health Dallas and a pulmonologist on the medical staff at the hospital. “But the intensivist — physicians trained in critical care medicine — might be seeing patients in their offices across the street, on the other side of campus or in the middle of a procedure with another patient. Our program now puts an intensivist at the bedside in the ICU, caring for these critically-ill, unstable patients throughout the day and ready to address complications that could arise.”

The program was started earlier this year in Texas Health Dallas’ two medical intensive care units, which care for some of the hospital’s sickest patients, including those suffering respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest, heart failure or other complex medical conditions. Even though these patients might be admitted to the hospital through the emergency department or by a primary care physician, their care is directed by a board-certified physician trained in critical-care medicine.

Critical care nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants — all trained in critical care medicine — help provide care in the ICU around the clock.

“This is a new era in North Texas medicine,” Wentworth said. “We’re putting the primary focus of an entire medical complex on intensive care and critical care, with improved efficiencies and the goal of getting people healthy and back home sooner.”

Designed by HKS Architects, the tower will facilitate optimal care for both caregiver and patient. Hamon’s 177 private rooms are up to 25 percent larger than traditional hospital rooms. Nursing sub-stations between rooms are designed to increase the efficiency of care and put nurses closer to the bedside.

The electronic health record, which was implemented last year in Texas Health Dallas’ existing facilities, has been fully integrated into every aspect of Hamon.

“The electronic health record is part of the facility’s DNA,” Shires said. “It’s the building block of Hamon’s communications’ and clinical technologies.”

The design of Hamon also separates public and clinical areas with a glass-walled concourse, which allows patients, visitors and guests to access different parts of the hospital from a central “spine” that spans the entire front of the medical center.

Glass walls flood all levels of the concourse, even floors below ground, with natural light. Two massive atriums connect the concourse to the hospital’s main lobby.

“The Hamon Tower design adopts the best nurse- and patient-friendly aspects of Texas Health Dallas’ existing campus and builds on them,” said Martha Steinbauer, R.N., CNO, vice president of nursing at Texas Health Dallas. “The design of the rooms and floors offers patients and their families a peaceful, healing environment, and the overall design provides easy navigation of our campus.”

As existing patients and units are moved into Hamon, parts of the Texas Health Dallas main building and primary campus will begin renovations to update those clinical areas. In all, the hospital will how have about 900 licensed beds.

“This isn’t the end of a construction project,” Steinbauer said, “but the beginning of a new day in North Texas health care.”

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is an 866-bed acute care hospital and recognized clinical program leader, having provided compassionate care to the residents of Dallas and surrounding communities since 1966. U.S. News and World Report has ranked Texas Health Dallas among the nation’s best hospitals in digestive disorders, orthopedics, and neurology and neurosurgery. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Dallas has approximately 4,000 employees and an active medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Dallas.

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