Open for Business: April 9 patient move ushers in opening of state-of-the-art Jennie Sealy Hospital

Apr 20, 2016, 09:23 AM by Stephen Hadley


Nearly a decade of planning, years of construction and many months of preparation, culminated with the opening of Jennie Sealy Hospital on April 9.

On that day, UTMB safely moved 185 patients from John Sealy Hospital to the new 765,000-square-foot facility that includes12 floors and 252 patient rooms.

“Everyone here has been so excited for this to happen for so long,” said Meredith Hartzog, a nurse clinician in Adult Patient Care Services. “Everything is going to be different, but it’s a good different because everything is new and open and inviting, both for patients and for the people who are going to be working here. It’s a great environment for care.”

That new environment includes patient rooms with sweeping views of either the Gulf of Mexico or Galveston Harbor and amenities such as a refrigerator, a locking drawer for personal items and a sleeper sofa and TV for overnight guests.The design of Jennie Sealy Hospital was guided by evidence-based principles intended to create a soothing, healing environment for patients and a state-of-the-art training facility for future generations of health care professionals.

The April 9 transportation of patients to Jennie Sealy Hospital included all adult JennieMovemedical/surgical and adult intensive care unit(ICU) patients. Meanwhile, the Mother & Baby Unit and Labor & Delivery services, along with the Blocker Burn Unit, Pediatric Unit and Cardiac Catheterization Lab will remain in modernized spaces in John Sealy Hospital.

Dora Kuntz, clinical educator for Nursing Administration in Adult Patient Care Services, said months-long preparations for the move included several mock events as well as “Day in the Life” scenarios that helped clinicians become better familiarized with the new hospital.

“We did scavenger hunts that allowed our nursing staff to follow their workflow throughout the building such as going to the OR, the CT scanner and the Cath lab,” Kuntz said. “Because we had practiced the patient move every Wednesday since January, we were all very prepared for any possibilities that came up during the move itself.”

Jennie Sealy Hospital includes several new amenities to make it easier for nursing staff to provide patient care efficiently while enhancing safety.

Part of the new equipment includes patient lifts in 20 percent of the rooms as wellUnivTXMedBranch_JennieSealyReplcmntHosp_PP1024_lg as beds that help nurses turn patients; these features are aimed at providing optimal care while reducing the risk of injury to nursing staff while caring for patients.

“The lifts are going to help so much. There is also just great accessibility to everything at the new hospital,” Hartzog said. “There are computers for the care team at the bedside, there are computers right outside the door, there are printers between every other patient room so nurses don’t have to walk so far away from their patients.”

Kuntz explains that the decentralized nurse stations between patient rooms in Jennie Sealy Hospital are intended to improve visibility of the patient for clinicians by creating a direct line of sight, improving patient safety and enhancing the ability of nurses to care for patients.

“The focus is always on providing the best care possible and Jennie Sealy Hospital helps us do that,” Kuntz said.

Phone System in New Hospital

A new phone system in Jennie Sealy Hospital may change contact numbers for individuals you call regularly. (Most main phone numbers, such as for patient units, will remain the same.) We offer the following tips to ease the transition:

• If you are calling someone who works in Jennie Sealy Hospital, check the online directory for the new number first. If you dial the old extension, you should get a recording with the person’s new phone number. If you do not get the recording, and still need the new number, please call the UTMB Operator at (409) 772-1011, or if you are on a UTMB campus, please dial “0.”

• If you are making a call from within Jennie Sealy Hospital, be aware that Avaya-brand phones in the building will require 10-digit dialing, including phone numbers that could previously be reached by dialing a 5-digit extension. (NEC-brand phones will continue to have 5-digit dialing.)

• A critical list of numbers will remain 5-digit dialing for all UTMB phones, even within Jennie Sealy Hospital. This list includes the phone extensions for Campus Police, Campus Fire Department, Sodexo Service Response Center, Kronos and Patient Services.

• In addition, the Clinical Operations Associates’ (COA) pager number will not change.