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2014 Spring

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Combining the Tried-and-True with Innovation on a New Patient Care Unit

TIRR Memorial Hermann’s new 15-bed patient care unit is allowing the rehabilitation hospital to further advance its unit-based team care model. In addition to private rooms, the new unit includes a therapy gym, community dining room, family lounge, private consultation rooms and offices for nursing, therapy, neuropsychology, social work and case management.

2014 Spring new patient care unit

“People across all disciplines interact throughout the day and coordinate patient care together,” says chief nursing officer/chief operating officer Mary Ann Euliarte, RN, CRRN. “It’s a beautiful unit and a great model for furthering co-treatment and collaboration.”

Representatives from nursing and therapy were involved in all aspects of planning and design of the space from start to finish. “Participating in the design of a new unit has given us an opportunity to make choices that make the most sense for the patient, as well as therapists and nurses,” says Rhonda Abbott, PT, director of therapy services and clinical programs for the Brain Injury and Stroke, Spinal Cord Injury and Specialty Rehabilitation programs.

“Overhead power lifts in two rooms make it safer for patients and easier for nurses and therapists to move people who require total assistance from the bed to the bathroom. Private rooms give patients a better learning environment for therapy, without distractions. Every time we design a new unit we evaluate what works well on our other units. We continue to learn from our best models and experience.”

"We like the idea of combining our tried-and-true ways of delivering care with new ideas from outside the hospital.” - Mary Ann Euliarte, RN, CRRN

The new unit will serve patients in the Specialty Rehabilitation Program, including bariatrics and oncology. “Working in a brand-new, sparkling environment makes people excited to come to work every day,” Euliarte says. “We decided early on that half the nurses on the unit would be transfers and half would be new hires. We like the idea of combining our tried-and-true ways of delivering care with new ideas from outside the hospital.”

The unit represents the continuation of TIRR Memorial Hermann’s Campus expansion project. “As people moved their offices into our new research center, it has allowed us space to redesign our patient care areas,” says Carl Josehart, hospital CEO. “We’ll be continuing the renovation on other units as we update our building to improve the care we deliver our patients.”