The largest construction project in Bexar County history has come to an end, as University Health System unveiled the new 'Sky Tower,' the 420 room addition to University Hospital in the Medical Center, 1200 WOAI news reports.
"This is designed to accommodate today's technology, as well as technologies which will be developed in the future," said Leni Kirkman, University's Communications Manager.
The massive addition includes 35 operating rooms, a massive state of the art emergency department, and one percent of the total budget goes toward 1200 works of art which are part of the 'healing arts program' embraced by the Health System.
And Kirkman says University is shedding its image as the 'public hospital.' She says only 23% of University's operating budget comes from taxpayers, the rest comes from insured, paying customers.
"This facility really is the final piece to that puzzle when it comes to having the level of care that we all want if it's a serious illness or injury," she said.
The new Sky tower includes some amazing innovations. Robots which are guided by magnetic strips under the floors will instantly supply patients and doctors with needed equipment. A patient's room can be immediately located on an iPhone. The operating rooms are huge to accommodate any surgical developments which may be introduced in the coming half century.
In addition to the patients, Kirkman says the families of patients are considered as well, with comfortable waiting rooms where they can be together, not in a crowded hall, but in their individual space where they can get instant updates on their patient's condition. Kirkman says the unique all-glass Emergency Room will allow doctors to keep an eye on all critical patients as well as their charts.
"Care is organized in pods based on how sick or hurt the patient is, from Fast Track, where patients can be treated quickly for minor emergencies, to the Trauma and Medicine Resuscitation Rooms, where critically injured and ill patients receive lifesaving care," Kirkman said.
The hospital also includes a fully quipped trauma unit complete with showers for removing any toxic or hazardous substance from contaminated patients.
And, the new Sky Tower has taken a step which will be appreciated by patients, their families, and guests. Patients will have a separate elevator which will be used only by patients and their physicians. No more having strangers gawking at you when you are rolled into a public elevator in your backless hospital gown on the way to or from surgery.
The total cost of the Sky Tower, in conjunction with the enlargement to the University Health System's Brady Green downtown, was $899 million.