Stung by two failed partnerships yet buoyed by nearly half a billion dollars in donations, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston broke ground in May on a teaching hospital and clinic that will feature such cutting-edge technology as an integrated electronic medical-record system.
When the 256-bed first phase opens in 2010, the Baylor Clinic and Hospital will feature advanced medical and surgical care, a variety of outpatient clinics, 300 faculty offices and a 19,000-square-foot research area. The $568 million integrated healthcare facility is to be located on a 35-acre campus on the grounds of the world-famous Texas Medical Center. Eventually the hospital is slated to have 600 licensed beds and 2.6 million square feet.
This is the first time in Texas that a hospital, outpatient clinic and diagnostic services will be linked with an EMR built at the same time on an electronic platform, said Peter Traber, Baylors chief executive officer.
Baylor recently hired Donna Sollenberger to be CEO of the hospital and executive vice president at Baylor College of Medicine. Sollenberger joins Baylor from the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, Madison, where she was president and CEO.
Baylors decision to build its own hospital follows a major falling out with 910-bed Methodist Hospital, Houston, in 2004 over the medical schools decision to build its own outpatient clinic.
Subsequent efforts to merge with or purchase 709-bed St. Lukes Episcopal Hospital in Houston in 2006 also failed to develop a mutually satisfactory partnership.
Baylor faculty physicians and scientists need a place to work, Traber said. Having control over a hospital and colleges own destiny is critical to our future.
Some 100 residents and 225 medical students are expected to be trained at the new hospital. Overall, Baylor faculty trains 1,200 residents at its 10 affiliated hospitals and clinics.
Traber said Baylor chose to build its own hospital after St. Lukes decided to focus its financial resources on building suburban hospitals. We wanted to work with St. Lukes to develop an academic medical center with the goal to raise St. Lukes to be on the honor roll of U.S. News & World Reports best hospitals, he said. They chose a different strategic direction.
Baylors move to build its own hospital is somewhat unusual, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges. Of the nations seven independent medical colleges, including Baylor, only two own their own hospitalsAlbany (N.Y.) Medical College and Mayo Medical College, Rochester, Minn., an AAMC spokeswoman said. Another 40 of the nations 125 medical schools own hospitals through their parent universities.