The New MTMC Will Open on Oct. 2
The New MTMC rises above Murfreesboro's bustling Gateway area and is already a landmark in the community. Photo compliments of MTMC
Offers Spacious Patient Rooms, Cutting-Edge IT and Nurse Conveniences
The new Middle Tennessee Medical Center (MTMC) in Murfreesboro is a hub of activity these days, what with equipment and furniture deliveries, information technology and communication installations, and orientation sessions for physicians and staff. On Oct. 2, the doors open to patients
In June, MTMC officials were handed the keys to the new 286-bed hospital by Turner Universal, the construction management firm. The project came in under budget and a month ahead of schedule. Located on aptly named Medical Center Parkway in Murfreesboro's Gateway development, the new $267 million MTMC is nearly 600,000 square feet, "far larger than our current facility," said Gordon Ferguson, MTMC president and CEO, during a recent media tour. In fact, the new hospital is more than twice the size of the existing facility near Murfreesboro's downtown. That facility is landlocked, and the decision was made in 1998 not to attempt a costly expansion. Instead, MTMC purchased 68 acres from the city in 2003 as the site for a new building. Construction began in April 2008.
MTMC Fun Facts
- Hospital construction took 2.8 million manhours. Thus, if one person did the job, it would take 1,346 years.
- Site preparation required nearly 31,000 tons of soil and rock, enough to cover a football field up to 210 feet high.
- Construction took 2.3 million square feet of dry wall, enough for 250 houses.
- The hospital required 3.9 million linear feet of electrical wiring, enough to stretch from Murfreesboro to Houston, Texas.
Ferguson said the new MTMC "is easy to navigate, offers cutting-edge technology and an architectural design that is contemporary and complementary with the development of Medical Center Parkway and the Gateway development." The architect was Gresham Smith and Partners.
"As we move into this new state-of-the-art facility, it's important that we enhance and grow our services to become a regional referral center," Ferguson said. He noted that the new MTMC will have a positive economic impact on Murfreesboro's economy; an additional 200 positions, most for clinicians, are being filled now.
MTMC is part of the Saint Thomas Health Services network, which is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the nation.
With Nurses in Mind
Each patient room at the new MTMC is identical, and Michael Bratton, RN, vice president of Patient Care Services, said that makes patient care more efficient.
Each room also has an area designed for family and visitors, with a comfortable sofa and a second small television. The rooms are a spacious 277 square feet.
"Clinical alcoves" just outside each room will be stocked with supplies that are frequently used or urgently needed. "That maximizes the amount of time that nurses and other clinical folks actually spend with patients," Bratton said. "One of the frustrations in many hospitals is what I call the 100-yard dash. If a nurse needs to get a roll of tape, in most hospitals they have to do the 100-yard dash from the patient's room to get to where those supplies are." The new hospital will decrease a nurse's average travel distance from a maximum of 172 feet to 75 feet.
Bratton praised the new hospital's "healing environment," with natural light and artwork of nature scenes by Tennessee artists. "Artwork can add to a sense of calm in a room, and it can actually add to a sense of orientation for patients who might have confusion," Bratton said, adding that nature scenes are "shown to decrease patient stress levels."
Cutting-edge Equipment and IT
"When we open this hospital, we will have the most technologically advanced imaging department in Middle Tennessee," Elizabeth Lemons, vice president of Clinical Operations, said. The hospital will have two CT scanners (one 64 slice and one 32 slice), and the MRI suite features a 3 tesla magnet.
Cardiology Services will open with a four-suite cath lab, including an electrophysiology suite for patients with an electrical-conduction heart problem.
When it comes to information technology, the new MTMC boasts a Cisco medical-grade network that represents the industry's best practices. "It provides the highest protection against system failure. It really is the best," said Mike Atlas, the hospital's IT consultant with the Brentwood-based firm C3. The Cisco network provides redundancy, capacity and security, he said.
The new MTMC will be Tennessee's first hospital featuring voice-over IP throughout the facility, including patient rooms. "We just have a single cable for everything," Atlas said in an interview.
The new hospital is equipped with a tracking system for people and equipment from Sonitor Technologies. "Anything you want to track has a little badge," Atlas explained. "This badge lets out a chirp that's specific to that badge, and it's picked up by microphones that are placed throughout the hospital." The Sonitor technology then communicates with a software program that plots each badge location on a map, telling nurses the location of the nearest wheelchair, for example. The information gathered by Sonitor is also linked the hospital's West-Call nurse-call system. "When a patient calls a nurse, it will set an alarm off," Atlas said. "When the nurse physically walks in the door, the Sonitor tag will talk to the nurse-call system and say, 'A nurse is in that room. Cancel the call.' It's also recording when that nurse went into that room, so we can use that for a variety of quality-control research after the fact."
Clinicians and administrators also will be issued an Ascom hand-held phone linked to the hospital's wireless network. That means, for example, that a nurse could receive a patient's lab results on the phone. Also linked to the nurse-call system, the Ascom phone allows a nurse to immediately answer a patient call by talking directly to the patient via a speaker phone in the patient room. The phone is also linked to patient monitoring equipment and alerts the nurse to a problem.
"These technologies are creating a foundation for future capability. The greatest benefit will come from nurses, doctors and caregivers themselves. Once they start using this technology in the new facility, they are going to come back to the IT organization with new and incredible ideas. The result will be future integrations," Atlas said.
Efficient and Green
For the first time in Middle Tennessee, Turner Universal used 3-D modeling to build a computer model of the construction before doing the construction itself. "It allowed the construction to go smoothly and ultimately have a good quality building," said Turner Vice President Randy Keiser.
"Another goal of the team was to create a green building and an environmentally sound building that's very energy efficient. We also met that goal," Keiser continued. Proper planning reduced construction waste by 30 percent when compared to a typical project. The hospital's roof reflects heat, thus it takes less energy to cool the building.