Planning underway for New University Hospital

In a message to the campus on Feb. 12, Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern, said planning is now underway for a New University Hospital, a key component of the medical center’s broader strategic planning process.

“Our strategic planning is focused on developing our academic health care system to be at the vanguard of quality, safety and innovation in patient care – enhanced by clinical and translational research and our commitment to education and training,” Dr. Podolsky said. “As part of our comprehensive clinical transformation agenda, we are setting new goals for clinical quality and the patient experience.”

A proposal to authorize planning for a New University Hospital, to be located north of Record Crossing and west of Harry Hines Boulevard, was presented to — and approved by — the UT System Board of Regents in November.

“Given the limitations of our current facility at University Hospital - St. Paul, we need a new replacement hospital as a base for being able to fully achieve our aspirations to provide world-class patient care in a comprehensive, state-of-the-art academic medical center,” Dr. Podolsky said. “We are pleased and grateful to have the planning opportunity made possible by the Board of Regents’ action.”

With Board approval, the planning process for the New University Hospital was launched in December. It is co-chaired by Dr. John Warner, who holds the Audre and Bernard Rapoport Chair in Cardiovascular Research and the Jim and Norma Smith Distinguished Chair for Interventional Cardiology and serves as medical director of the Doris and Harry W. Bass Jr. Clinical Center for Heart, Lung and Vascular Disease, and by Sharon Riley, vice president and chief executive officer of UT Southwestern University Hospitals.

A dozen groups are now working to fulfill their charge of developing recommendations for a facility that will promote innovative patient care and integrate it with attention to the needs of students and trainees and support for clinical and translational research. In parallel with these objectives, the design and processes of care at our new hospital are intended to achieve the goal of providing highly patient-centric care.

The planning groups include faculty, nurses, physician assistants, technicians, administrators and staff, as well as members of our patient community. Each planning group has a specific area of emphasis: clinical care, critical care, education, research, patient experience, imaging, emergency department, surgical and interventional services, obstetrics and gynecology, support and operations, information resources, and communications. As design and operations recommendations are developed, further input will be sought from across the UT Southwestern community.

The planning groups will deliver recommendations in March related to hospital programming and schematic design, from which architects will develop more detailed plans. Dr. Podolsky said he expects to submit a comprehensive proposal to the Board of Regents for final approval in November.

“While we have a truly exciting opportunity before us, it is important for everyone to understand that clinical transformation is about a fundamental and collective commitment to achieving excellence, not just about building a new hospital. It is about a dedication to quality in the care we deliver and the manner in which we deliver it,” Dr. Podolsky said.

The complete message is posted on the UT Southwestern Web site and may be viewed by first clicking “News Home” and then “Messages from the President.”

Center Times will keep readers updated as the planning process continues.