Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center: Mike Dorsey, Construction Coordinator

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2009 opened a new era for Hillcrest Baptist Medial Center (HBMC), a hospital that received its charter in 1916, back when the town of Waco, Texas had only a population of 25,000 people. Now the city of nearly 225,000 people is home to a new, 236-bed acute care facility that opened in April of this year.

“Everyone likes our new facility,” says Mike Dorsey, HBMC Construction Coordinator. “The patient rooms are large and spacious, which is something we really needed because our rooms in our old facility dated back to 1920. They weren’t much bigger than a large phone booth, so it’s nice to have large patient rooms where there is plenty of room for the patient’s bed, all the medical equipment you would need in the room, and the patient’s family.”

Operating in All New Facilities

The new facility has two buildings, a medical center and a women’s and children’s center. All labor, delivery, pediatric and neonatal services take place in the two-story women’s center. The medical center features 48 patient beds per floor with two nursing units per floor. The first floor has dining services, environmental services, the laboratory, education, meeting rooms, information technology, and materials management. The second floor has the emergency room, radiology services, medical records, human resources, and the main lobby. The third floor includes the cardiology and surgical suites, as well as Medical Intensive Care and Surgical Intensive Care Units.

The medical center totals 342,407 square feet, with a 2,803 square feet connector to the children’s hospital which is 105,373 square feet. An all new physical plant supports the new facilities, as well. “We made sure we had the most efficient systems we could buy,” says Dorsey. “We put in an automatic transfer switch and we’re fed from two separate substations, so we don’t have to run our generators unless we lose both our substations. In the time or two we have lost power, the generators never even started because it switched over to the other source immediately. The generators didn’t even sense the power being off.”

The hospital didn’t pursue LEAD certification, but did apply as many of the criteria that made sense. “It didn’t make any sense to plant trees on our roof,” says Dorsey. “But we have motion sensor light switches. When I walk out of my office, the lights go out; when I walk back in, they come on.”

Evolution of the Medical Field

Dorsey has been in construction since 1970 and in medical construction since 1980. He says the rate of change in technology is accelerating. “Computer technology changes and imaging equipment, especially, becomes obsolete almost over night. You have to update it every few years or you’re way behind your competition,” he says. “How often you have to change your computer, upgrade your office—that’s the main difference between now and then, how fast the technology changes.”

He says this rate of change was a big factor in the planning and building of the new facility. The selection of the types of equipment that would be used was crucial to the flow of the planning and the construction timeline. Then there was the job of making sure everything was ordered and scheduled for appropriate delivery time. “Those were critical issues,” Dorsey says.

In Their New Home

“The move went extremely well. The substantial completion was at the end of January and then we had all our equipment to install and get ready,” he says. They started moving patients at 6 o’clock on the morning of April 4 and where more-or-less done with the transition by 10:30 that morning.

“We had probably every ambulance within four counties working for us,” Dorsey says. We were moving patients from four different areas and delivering them to different areas of this hospital. We were in the process of shutting down our ER on our old campus and opening the ER over here. Also shutting down nursing units at the old hospital and moving them here.”

A moving consultant helped them plan the process, and even furnished moving tubs and labels. Everything was marked with the room number at the new campus so that movers were able to deliver boxes to the offices they belonged in. Staff members, therefore, only had to unpack. “All that went extremely well,” reports Dorsey.

-by T.M. Simmons

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