North Texas

Vision 2020: Hospital Of The Future

Over the next 18 months, we will take you to the future of North Texas in a project called Vision 2020.

From Dallas to Fort Worth, see the transformation that's happening right now and things we could see in the future. 

Right now, the hospital of the future already exists in North Texas.

Parkland Hospital opened its new campus three years ago and has set a new standard for hospitals across the nation.

Sitting in the heart of Dallas's medical district, the county's sprawling public hospital, taller than AT&T stadium, boasts some of the most technological advancements in health-care.

Parkland was the first Level I Trauma Center in Texas and has become one of the busiest and most recognized trauma centers in the country. 

With the opening of the new Rees-Jones Trauma Center in August 2015, Parkland took trauma care to a new level, more than doubling the square footage of each trauma care room compared to the old Parkland to accommodate the state-of-the-art equipment and technology incorporated into the design. 

"Our goal is to set the standard.  We are an academic urban county hospital so we are challenged, in some ways.  We think outside of the box and try to look at the resources we have and the patient is always the focus," said Jorie Klein, BSN, RN, Director, Trauma Program, Rees-Jones Trauma Center, at Parkland Health & Hospital System.

The 400 square foot rooms can be divided up into two rooms, in the case of a mass casualty event.

Four of the ten rooms have X-ray systems for quick assessment and treatment and there is a refrigerator, stocked with blood supply, located within steps of the trauma rooms, which can save time when minutes are critical.

Patients arriving via the helipad will use one of two “megavators,” which are large enough to hold entire trauma teams and fast enough to  zip down 18 floors in 32 seconds. 

"Because this is an institution that has always been dedicated to providing cutting edge care of the injured, the transition from front door of the trauma center to operating room occurs in less than 10 minutes. There are very few hospitals in the world that can meet that benchmark," said Alexander Eastman, MD, MPH, FACS, Medical Director of the Rees-Jones Trauma Center at Parkland; Assistant Professor of Surgery, UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Above the trauma center are 870 patient rooms which help define Parkland as an all digital hospital, where everything is operated by a keyboard, not a wrench.

Nurses stations outside each room have a vision panel, which allow clinical staff to observe patients from the hallway as needed but provide patients with privacy.

"So the nurse can sit here while she's charting on the computer.  She can see her patient through the window. The patient and family can see her, so they definitely feel in touch with the nursing staff," said Judy Herrington, MSN, RN, Vice President of Nursing, Medicine Services.

Technology features like smart rooms with smart beds send vital information about the patient to health-care providers and allow patients to communicate with staff and family in real time.

The smart beds weigh patients and alert staff when a patient with a high risk for falls is about to get out of bed.

Smart TVs in every patient room allows patients to link to nurse call system, view educational materials, access their medical record, communicate with their doctor in real time, see upcoming appointments, communicate with dietary to order or view meals.

"We are one of the first and one of the biggest all-digital hospitals in the country when we opened up. Since then, we've had a ton of visitors, both nationally and internationally, come to see what we've done and how we've done it," said Joseph Longo, Interim Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer.

All of it, is encompassed in a $1.326 billion campus designed with sustainability in mind.

Parkland hospital has been named a “Greenest Hospital in America” the past 2 years by Becker’s Hospital Review.

Energy efficient air filtration systems and low-emitting building materials improve indoor air quality.

Energy and lighting controls reduce power usage by 26 percent and outside, native landscape reduces irrigation by 50 percent.

Parkland has 25 different recycling streams that are managed throughout the hospital and four LEED Gold certifications.

"We had the opportunity to build a building from the ground up, really, a brand new campus and so we've taken the opportunity to design right to start with, and we are continuing on with our programs," said Miranda Skaaning, Manager, Business Sustainability and Development.

Officials say innovations make Parkland the hospital of the future as it drives patient care into the 21st century and sets a new standard for years to come.

Parkland is also the first hospital in the nation to use a concept pioneered by Disney.

Vendors and staff use separate hallways and elevators from patients and visitors, meant to improve efficiency and create a quiet atmosphere for patients.

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