One of the main goals of The University of Tennessee Medical Center is to continually improve its facility, providing best-in-class medical operations to serve our growing community’s needs. One way we do this is by expanding the services of the six Centers of Excellence – and in 2018, this meant opening an expansion to the Heart Hospital.
The addition resulted in five new floors, allowing the medical center to expand its inpatient services and improve capacity in its ACS-verified Level I Trauma Center, the only one of its type in Knoxville.
Designing a facility so that our patients’ medical services are all in one place isn’t just convenient – it can also improve patient health. This research-based concept was a driving factor behind the recent expansion of the Heart Hospital tower.
“Studies have shown that integrating services improves our patients’ outcomes,” said Jeanne Wohlford, vice president of the medical center’s Heart Lung Vascular Institute. It does this, in part, by maximizing the services’ efficiency and effectiveness and improving patient safety. It also improves overall patient satisfaction.
The addition, which adjoins the front of The University of Tennessee Medical Center’s main Knoxville campus, was built with input from physicians, nurses, health care specialists and patients. Rooms were designed with soothing colors, adjustable lighting and comfortable sofa beds for family members to spend the night.
The waiting areas at all levels have been improved to reduce stress and accommodate needed breaks. Built-in snack areas make it easy to grab a bite. The cafeteria also delivers meals by request during certain hours, reducing time away from family.
These factors – reducing stress, increasing social interaction and improving access to privacy – have been shown to help patients heal.
Crucial to the success of the design concept is having doctors, nurses and other medical staff dedicated to working exclusively with cardiovascular disease patients by using a multidisciplinary approach for care and treatment.