Parkland hospital is one of the nation’s busiest hospitals, serving more than one million patients a year. Opening its doors in 1954, the hospital quickly became one of the largest public hospital systems in the county and is the primary teaching hospital for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Parkland, a nonprofit healthcare provider, contributes unequivocally to the health and stability of the region, caring for under served populations.
Due to limited expansion opportunities in the original facility and aging infrastructure (which was licensed for 861 adult beds, 107 neonatal patient beds and more than 10,000 employees), Parkland leadership concluded, they needed a new building. Their goal was to provide a facility that could serve the growing volume and changing needs of patients in Dallas County.
The project’s complexity was multifaceted, requiring the inclusion of three distinct clinical areas in the acute care hospital: Diagnostic and Treatment (Emergency Department, Lobby, Chapel, Dining, Imaging, Endoscopy, Cardiology, Lab, Pharmacy, Labor and Delivery, Surgery, Neonatal ICU); Acute Care Tower (SICU, burn unit, medical unit, psychiatric unit); and the Women’s and Infants Specialty Hospital (WISH Clinic) (Postpartum, Nursery). At the same time, it was one of the largest hospital construction projects in the country, involving over 900 stakeholders in the design and decision making process. Adding to the complexity, Parkland is a county hospital funded by taxpayer’s of Dallas County’s dollars; the new hospital would need to accurately reflect Dallas County citizens, so that they feel a sense of pride.
Parkland’s leadership team was determined to create a hospital that was thoughtfully planned to enhance the patient experience, while maintaining a high level of quality care. This was accomplished through various methods, including a cross-country tour of successful hospital building programs. These visits informed the programming for this project and served as an initial building block for the entire design process.
At nearly twice the size of the old hospital, the new Parkland was designed to meet the ever-changing needs of Dallas County. The 1.9 million sf, 862-bed hospital was delivered utilizing an integrated, co-located team approach and employed lean construction principles such as BIM, centralized digital document management, and implemented a fast-track planning process that focused on “key rooms”.
The co-location of the design and construction team in a shared, on-site facility improved project coordination and encouraged live exchange of ideas and solutions. With the sheer size of the user group, it was quickly understood that gaining feedback from over 900 stakeholders would be time consuming and inefficient. Parkland’s approach to this obstacle was to incorporate a group of clinical liaisons into the co-location site to work with the design team and the hospital’s clinical staff to reach final decisions. The utilization of Parkland’s Registered Nurse liaisons streamlined the decision-making process and helped manage change with minimal impact on the design and construction schedule.
Mazzetti+GBA provided all aspects of medical equipment consulting services from planning through procurement and transitioning. We covered all clinical disciplines. Our team ranged in size from six to 20 consultants and support staff depending on the stage of the project. The team approached the design of “key rooms” with the assumption that all key rooms were identical, so in planning for one key room, we planned for all. The challenge was identifying key rooms that had to be modified because of structural elements, while minimizing the impact on equipment placement and operational efficiencies. Over the course of a five year schedule, Mazzetti+GBA tracked capital equipment (additions, replacements, and retirements) and minimized the impact of these changes on the design budget. We relocated existing equipment and coordinated with the finance, procurement, and biomedical team. We designed key rooms to accommodate both standardization in terms of equipment and process, while enabling flexibility to accommodate future changes in function.
Parkland’s new hospital was thoughtfully and thoroughly planned to enhance the patient experience –the heart of Parkland’s mission. The project preserves its commitment to safe, quality care and promotes an environment of healing. A LEED Silver certified building, the hospital will serve the needs of Dallas residents for years to come.