September 26, 2008

Children’s Hospital expansion plan details take shape

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Kevin Churchwell, M.D., and colleagues at Monday’s town hall meeting for the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. (photo by Neil Brake)

Children’s Hospital expansion plan details take shape

After last week's launch of an expansion project at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, much of the hospital's Monday Town Hall meeting was focused on construction updates.

The 400,000-square-foot expansion will include seven underground parking levels, space for relocating and expanding Vanderbilt's obstetrics program and additional pediatric beds.

Jim Hollender, director of Children's Services Expansion Initiatives, revealed a plan showing how the new facility will connect to the existing structure.

The second floor, which houses the public and dining space, will make a full connection, while all other floors will have a small skybridge connection.

User groups are currently meeting to discuss space usage and develop lists of room sizes, and then architects will develop floor plans.

Construction is expected to begin early next year.

On Oct. 1, construction will begin on two floors of the Children's Hospital Doctors Office Tower previously left unfinished.

Floor 7 will house ear, nose and throat and surgery units. Floor 10 will be multi-specialty, including plastic surgery, nephrology and pulmonary units. They are expected to open next July.

“Our goal is to consolidate all hospital-based pediatric services under one roof. With these floors opening, we'll be closer to achieving that,” said Kevin Churchwell, M.D., chief executive officer of Children's Hospital.

Churchwell said building on outpatient clinics at Vanderbilt Health at One Hundred Oaks is on a “fast track,” and construction has been under way for two weeks to renovate the second floor at the Edward Curd Lane building located next to Williamson Medical Center.

It is expected to open mid-November with 19 expanded pediatric exam rooms.

In other business, Paul Hain, M.D., associate chief of staff, reported on a recent performance management and improvement measure for identification band accuracy.

A survey found that 20 percent of patients had an error on their band. After staff suggestions were put into effect, error rates dropped to 2.5 percent.

Pat Givens, R.N., associate hospital director of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer, presented results of the Community Survey.

Three areas were below Medical Center goals, but plans are in place to improve future numbers.

Amy Casseri, chief community and business development officer, reported on regional preference rankings. Of 1,900 households surveyed, 67 percent ranked Children's Hospital their first preference for ED/trauma care.

“Other children's hospitals do surveys like this, but very few approach 60 percent,” Churchwell said.