Dallas’ newest Level I Trauma Center at Methodist Dallas Medical Center turned 1 year old this summer on July 28, 2015 — just 23 months after breaking ground. It is one of only three adult trauma centers in Dallas — and the only one in southern Dallas county — that is qualified, staffed, and equipped to provide advanced care for all kinds of trauma 24 hours a day.
“A Level I Trauma Center like ours at Methodist Dallas represents a medical community that is invested in delivering a very high level of trauma care,” says J. Darryl Amos, MD, chief of surgery, Methodist Dallas. “We also have a dedicated commitment to the community and to other hospitals to help form a trauma system throughout North Texas.”
Busy from Day One
The advanced trauma center, located in the 248,000-square-foot Charles A. Sammons Tower, is the first patient care tower in Dallas devoted to emergency, trauma, critical care, and neurocritical care services. The first day it was open, the Sammons Tower saw 245 patients, and there has been an increase in emergency department and operating room patients compared to the period prior to the Tower opening.
“We have extensive resources in neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery; trauma surgeons and ancillary personnel that are here 24 hours, day in and day out; as well as substantial critical care services that complement the trauma care that we provide,” Dr. Amos says. “We’re providing vital, much-needed services to Dallas and the surrounding communities in a sophisticated environment that is centered on patients’ needs.”
The six-story building includes:
- 59 private emergency department (ED) beds
- 5 trauma suites
- 4 triage rooms
- 8 new ORs
- ED exams rooms specifically designed for ear, nose, and throat; obstetrics-gynecology; pediatrics; and the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program.
Highlights of the Sammons Tower’s advanced features:
- ED and trauma waiting areas with negative air pressurization, limiting the spread of airborne illnesses
- Dedicated CT room and two radiology rooms located in the center of the ED to improve access and reduce wait times
- Portable digital X-ray equipment that brings imaging services to the patient
- ORs with sterile fields that surpass industry standards, enhancing infection control
- ORs that are 50 to 75 percent bigger to accommodate large surgical teams and advanced technology like the robotic da Vinci® Surgical System
- NCCU with 34 beds and a surgical intensive care unit with 36.
Dedicated physician referral entrance
A new triage system in the ED helps to direct patients to the appropriate care, quickly. Patients who are admitted to the hospital by their doctors use a separate entrance, where their medical records and exam rooms are prepared in advance. A laboratory and imaging services in the heart of the ED reduce waiting times.
“Treating a trauma patient requires specialty care, and that Level I designation shows that we’ve worked hard, we’ve put a team together, and we’re able to take care of any trauma patient that comes in,” explains Danny Holland, DO, orthopedic trauma surgeon, Methodist Dallas.
Care focused on patients’ needs
All patient rooms in the Sammons Tower are private and double in size, allowing more space for visitors and family, and better accommodation of hospital staff. The rooms allow for plenty of natural daylight, which can help promote healing. Glass partitions throughout the units help minimize sound for patients who are resting, while still allowing clinical staff to monitor them. The intensive care and critical care units boast improved nurse-to-patient ratios, allowing nurses to devote more energy to their patients.
“We have really worked hard to improve our services by including all groups in all areas, from nursing staff and physicians to ancillary services and behind-the-scenes operations. It’s an absolute team approach here, and I think that’s really what separates us,” says Dr. Holland. “We have a great collaborative effort, we’re in constant communication with each other, and we’re all pushing each other to get better.”