Patient Care: A Health System on a Mission

Seven years ago, baby Tristan was given a 20 percent chance of survival as he lay in the Infant Special Care Unit at UTMB in Galveston.

Today, he is a “wonderful little boy filled with love,’’ at the top of his first grade class and reading like a maniac, says his mother. She recently wrote to the UTMB staff, “I will be forever grateful for all the time you gave to my little man.’’

Tristan is just one of the many thousands of patients who each year benefit from UTMB’s blend of expertise, compassion and determination. The university is working to build a future in which everyone has access to the kind of advanced care available here.

With recent expansions, UTMB now has 80 clinics at more than 40 sites on Galveston Island and the mainland. This growth complements existing services in the community and ensures that residents and community physicians in the rapidly growing Houston/Galveston Bay Area have convenient access to UTMB’s expertise in women’s and children’s health, geriatrics, burn care, transplants, diabetes and metabolic disorders, neurological diseases, and ear, nose and throat conditions, among other areas of clinical excellence. Tristan is just one of the many thousands of patients who each year benefit from UTMB’s blend of expertise, compassion and determination. The university is working to build a future in which everyone has access to the kind of advanced care available here. Last year saw the return of UTMB’s Level 1 Trauma Center status—a major milestone for the university and for the Southeast Texas region that depends on these critical services.

The DaVinci Robotic Surgery System represents UTMB’s significant investment in minimally invasive surgery, which greatly benefits the health of the patient while reducing costs associated with hospitalization and lost work time. UTMB currently employs the system in general, urologic, gynecologic, gynecologic oncology and cardiothoracic surgery cases.

The DaVinci Robotic Surgery System represents UTMB’s significant investment in minimally invasive surgery, which greatly benefits the health of the patient while reducing costs associated with hospitalization and lost work time. UTMB currently employs the system in general, urologic, gynecologic, gynecologic oncology and cardiothoracic surgery cases.

Island clinics are moving back to the renovated Primary Care Pavilion, and the first phase of the John Sealy Hospital modernization—largely funded by The Sealy & Smith Foundation—is almost complete. Our patients are now benefiting from a remodeled Comprehensive Maternity Center, as well as new patient rooms on the renowned Blocker Burn Unit and our orthopaedic/trauma and general surgery floors. The UTMB Health Children’s Hospital—newly redesigned within John Sealy Hospital—provides a full range of pediatric acute and intensive care.

Among UTMB’s new mainland sites is the Multispecialty Center & Stark Diabetes Clinic, a 45,000-square-foot facility that consolidates several former locations into one convenient, technologically advanced, healing environment for patients.

Among UTMB’s new mainland sites is the Multispecialty Center & Stark Diabetes Clinic, a 45,000-square-foot facility that consolidates several former locations into one convenient, technologically advanced, healing environment for patients.

Construction will soon begin on the $438 million Jennie Sealy Hospital, which will expand our inpatient capacity while providing the optimal healing environment for patients and their families; an advanced, highly adaptable work environment for our faculty and staff; and a real-world “classroom” for our students. And work has begun on the adjacent Clinical Services Wing, which will provide resilient space for critical hospital support services such as the pharmacy, blood blank, sterile processing and kitchen.

In addition to significantly upgrading and expanding our facilities to improve access and quality, we are building the systems and processes needed to drive progress in patient care delivery.

Implemented in all UTMB clinics in 2011, MyChart gives patients the power of secure online access to their medical records and physicians, and helps them become full partners in their health care.

New rooms created in Phase 1 of the John Sealy Hospital modernization are double their previous size, allowing ample space for the most current technology, for student education and for the comfort of families staying with patients.

New rooms created in Phase 1 of the John Sealy Hospital modernization are double their previous size, allowing ample space for the most current technology, for student education and for the comfort of families staying with patients.

Another major initiative, UTMB Connect, will ensure a “one patient, one record” approach to care and result in streamlined appointment scheduling and registration, full compliance with new federal guidelines on documenting diagnosis and treatment, and a single, easy-to-understand bill for all services provided to a patient.

UTMB is expanding its focus on safety by furthering a culture of trust within the Health System and throughout the university. In a culture of trust, mistakes are acknowledged so that everyone can learn a better way, managers focus 15 on improving processes, everyone is held accountable for ensuring safety and compliance within their work areas, and employees at every level feel comfortable speaking up when they see ways to improve.

Although the health care landscape continues to evolve, UTMB’s vision for the future is clear: equitable access to the most effective care possible throughout our region, state and nation. We have piloted numerous innovative community-based programs that are improving the health of patients we serve directly and providing models of care for others to emulate. We are collaborating with other area providers to reform the region’s health care delivery system. And, as part of a broadbased Brookings Institution initiative, we are contributing to the national dialog on improving health care quality and reducing costs.

Through strategic growth and continued innovation, UTMB holds true to its tradition of improving the health of Texas while defining the very future of health care for the state and nation.

UTMB delivers 7,000 new Texans each year and helps improve the health of their families.

UTMB delivers 7,000 new Texans each year and helps improve the health of their families.