Construction is underway on a $25 million expansion of the intensive care unit at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital H-E-B that will improve care to critically ill patients in Northeast Tarrant County.
Groundbreaking ceremonies were expected to take place Tuesday at Texas Health H-E-B, 1600 Hospital Parkway in Bedford.
Hospital officials described the expansion as a game-changer for the community.
“I think it’s a huge step for the whole community; we’ve been pretty proud of our ICU here. We’ve given pretty extraordinary care,” said Dr. Gary Jones, a pulmonary and critical care physician at Texas Health H-E-B.
Hospital President Deborah Paganelli said planning for the expansion began several years ago when the hospital began treating more critically ill patients.
An aging population and reforms to the healthcare system mean that the hospital is caring for more people who are critically ill, she said.
The three-story building will tie in to the hospital’s existing tower, and features will include: a new 18-bed high-acuity intensive care unit, an interventional radiology suite and room for expansion.
The radiology suite will allow doctors to perform minimally invasive imaging-guided procedures to treat chronic illnesses such as kidney disease and conditions such as unusual blood clotting.
The new unit will also have private rooms so that patients won’t have to be moved as their condition changes from when they are admitted to when they are released.
Other features include four rooms dedicated to bariatric care with ceiling lifts to help move patients from the bed to the bathroom and two isolation rooms for patients with contagious or infectious diseases
Paganelli said funding for the expansion will come from Texas Health Resources, and the hospital will also launch a $2 million capital campaign.
The new facility should be completed by July 2016, freeing up more space in the hospital to treat patients who don’t need intensive care.
“When you get sick enough to go to an intensive care unit, it is one of the most physical and emotional experiences the patient and family will go through,” Jones said.
Jones added that the most recent ICU expansion was 15 years ago and that doctors nowadays are using more tools to treat patients and that ICU rooms are getting crowded.
Margaret Markey, nursing manager of critical care at Texas Health H-E-B, said that the expansion will provide a more natural setting for patients and their families and that rooms will have windows so that patients can see outside.