Apr 30

Patient Care Tower opens to great acclaim

4/30/13 | Create Innovations, Newsroom

Primary Goal:  Improve the patient experience

Primary Goal: Improve the patient experience

University of Missouri Health Care built the seven-story, 300,000-square-foot Patient Care Tower to expand services at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and University Hospital. The tower includes a state-of-the-art replacement facility for Ellis Fischel’s original building, which was more than 70 years old.

The new Patient Care Tower also provides University Hospital with 90 new private patient rooms, all with “smart room” technology, expanded surgical services, with six new operating rooms and 43 pre- and post-procedure rooms, and future expansion space.

Our technology goals for this new construction were to:

  • Create space with technology and workflow in mind
  • Create flexible care environments to reduce cost for future remodels and improve capacity management
  • Enable data integrity with redundancy and ample bandwidth


The primary criterion in our workstation placement design was to ensure a provider never has his or her back to the patient. In exam rooms, we placed monitors so the clinician could share results and images with the patient to facilitate their discussion.

Each room in the Patient Care Tower offers streamlined technology at the bedside by storing components in ventilated, secured upper cabinets and using Virtual Desktop Integration (VDI) “boxes” to further minimize the space required for technology.

Additional benefits of the VDIs compared to their desktop counterparts include:

  • Decreased initial capital outlay (1/3 the cost)
  • Decreased footprint
  • Improved centralized control over technology at the desktop for maintenance with future roaming profiles
  • Decreased maintenance
  • Cost effective refreshes

Our clinicians use this Smart Room technology to improve patient satisfaction, increase speed and accuracy in vitals documentation, decrease time to find an available pump, and we therefore avoid cost in unnecessary pump procurement.


As the patient population continues to evolve from a traditional “in-patient, med-surg” focus to more of an “out-patient and ICU” population, we want to make all of our in-patient rooms universal in their acuity level.

Thus, every room has the necessary infrastructure and functionality to serve ICU patients as easily as traditional med-surg patients.

For example, every head wall is equipped with the power, data, medical gas, and all other components required for a redundant ICU Smart Room. We can simply change the devices and equipment in the room to meet the acuity level of the patient/department. This eliminates the need for time-consuming and costly remodels, providing the flexibility that evolving care models demand. See the appendix for a look inside our new Patient Care Tower.

The first two floors of the Patient Care Tower house clinic exam rooms. The technology in these rooms facilitates exams and consultations for any specialty. We can dynamically assign these rooms to patients and their providers based on need, independent of the specialty.


Today’s “always on” world mandates that we have a redundant power source and network to protect data integrity.

Ultimately this redundancy improves patient safety by ensuring care providers have accurate, accessible data.

Two independent network paths in the Patient Care Tower, which required more than 2 million feet of cable, create this redundant network.

This structure ensures continuous access to all hospital systems and Internet resources.


Patient satisfaction survey results show the impact of the new facility and its technology. We compared the average results for the 6 months prior to the opening to the 3 months average after opening and saw some notable changes:

  • Rate the hospital — 4.8% increase
  • Quiet around room at night — 7.3% increase.

The Analytics at the Edge team calculated the financial benefits from the technology.

The CareAware location-tracking technology in the new tower resulted in a 49-minute decrease (on average) in search time per device.

The technology was able to track pump usage and impact planned orders for new devices. The original plan called for MUHC to purchase 408 pumps. When we considered the fully loaded cost of the devices and related costs, we revised the order to 75 pumps, saving a total of $771,987.


“When we first set out to build this expansion, our aim was to create a state-of-the-art facility for our patients and families, but I think we have exceeded that goal,” said Vice Chancellor Harold A. Williamson Jr., MD.

“As I look around this new expansion, I believe we’ve created the hospital of the future,” he said. “With help from our partners at the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation, we’ve not only incorporated the latest in health care technology but also technologies that were developed here and are the first of their kind in the nation.”



CareAware Infusion Management

  • The CareAware Infusion Management solution automates the infusion process by providing comprehensive views of patient’s overall infusion status and documenting infusion information. The technology also provides improved patient safety, clinician workflow improvements, and cost avoidance.
  • We expect Infusion Management to reduce costs associated with drug waste and adverse drug events.

Capacity Management provides Real-time Location System

  • Expand to include patient and provider for improved outcomes and efficiency.

myStation Enhancements

  • We are enhancing Cerner’s myStation offering (patient education and interaction) by integrating patient education orders.
  • The solution will also introduce doctors, nurses, and other providers to patients. Every time a provider walks into a room, his or her name, picture, and role will display on myStation.