It was the growing population that brought Texas Health Resources to the North Fort Worth, Texas, area. According to the most recent census data, Tarrant County, Texas – where the healthcare company is building the Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance – has grown by 200,000 people in the last 10 years. That growth, combined with the fact that there is no full-service healthcare facility in a 7-mile radius around the conclave of the new hospital, made Texas Health Resources want to fill that need in the community.
Due to the acute need for such a provider, the project needed to be completed in the least amount of time possible. Texas Health Resources appointed Winjie Tang Miao to supervise the development process. Miao is a 12-year veteran in the organization and she recently supervised $400 million of construction for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. Miao went to work immediately, enlisting the Beck Group as the general contractor.
The team first established integrated project delivery (IPD), where every contributor was part of the planning process, to optimize project results, efficiency and minimize waste.
“When we say we want a light that does a specific thing, the engineer specs a specific light,” Miao says. “In this system, the subcontractor was there to say, ‘We used this light in this other job and it worked and was less expensive.’” Having everyone in one room created synergies that would not have been there otherwise, Miao explains.
Texas Health Resources also made sustainability a priority for this new facility. The project is on track to be LEED silver certified, using storm water for re-use, low-flow fixtures and doors certified by Forest Stewardship Council.
“We did not import any Italian marble,” Miao says. “The materials we selected for the building are all native to Texas. The outside of our building is a very native Texas limestone.”
Continuing with the spirit of innovation and efficiency, the project utilized prefabrication for its construction. In a warehouse a quarter of a mile down from the construction site, bathrooms, ductwork and other parts of the interior structure were assembled as the outside was being erected. Once the exterior was completed, the prefabricated pieces were put in place. The benefit to this was significant labor and material savings, as well as increased quality and consistency in all the final products installed.
For Rusty Herron, senior project facilities manager for Texas Health Resources, this part of the process made environmental sense in a very physical way.
“The prefabrication process was very exciting,” he explains. “It created maybe one container of waste while they worked, and they were there for six months.”
The building would be nothing without a dedicated staff. Miao says Texas Health Resources has created a “culture of collaboration” with the physicians and a “culture of excellence amongst the organization’s staff.”
To achieve the best experience for patients and staff, a new technology called Real Time Locating Services was implemented. This technology will enable staff to track patients, staff members and supplies. It also will allow nurses to know how long a person has been waiting in the ER or when a patient is out of surgery.
“It is really going to help us improve our efficiency,” Miao says. “It will free our staff to take care of the patient rather than searching for equipment, or staff.”
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance is scheduled to open in September 2012. The new facility will feature 50 beds with the ability to expand to 350, a 24-hour emergency room, services for women and infants, acute care inpatient beds, surgical services, imaging, physical therapy, cardiac rehabilitation, occupational health, wellness programs, and educational classes for the community.
The best part of the whole process for Miao is to be able to offer high-quality healthcare to a community that really needs it. “We are really excited to be able to bring this facility to this community that has been wanting it for a long time,” Miao says.