UT Southwestern hospital one step closer to construction

The University of Texas System Board of Regents approved plans for a new 12-story, 424-bed university hospital at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas that's slated to open in 2015, according to a UT Southwestern press release. The new hospital would replace the 47-year-old University Hospital - St. Paul, which had become too expensive to maintain and renovate as an academic medical center, according to Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, the school's president.

The project next goes to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for review and final approval. If approved, construction on the $800 million, 1.3 million-square-foot project will start in March 2011 and end in late 2014. In addition to the hospital, the project includes a dedicated thermal energy plant and facilities to support the hospital.

The design will incorporate robotics for the operating rooms and imaging and tracking systems to support safety, quality assessment and cost-efficiency goals. Each patient room will feature a dedicated seating area for family and visitors, refrigerators, bedside and dimmer controls for lighting, multimedia options and patient Internet access.

Rounding rooms on each floor will allow healthcare teams to discuss patient care privately. There also will be family conference rooms for private consultations with physicians and dedicated conference rooms and teaching spaces.

To learn more:
- read the press release from UT Southwestern Medical Center
- read the Dallas Morning News article

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