On May 27, Memorial Hermann Katy broke ground on a major campus expansion that will include office space for more physicians and practices and a new six-story patient tower. The hospital's existing emergency room and operating rooms will also undergo an internal renovation. Construction is expected to take a year. Memorial Hermann's goal is to begin treating patients in the new facilities in June 2015.
"We're really expanding every service we have," said John Kueven, director of hospital operations for Memorial Hermann Katy.
The facility presently houses 142 patient beds, and on many days, all of those beds are full, Kueven said. When the expansion is complete, there will be a total of 210 beds.
"Just about every day we're at capacity," Kueven said. "So we want to make sure we're growing to meet the needs of our community."
The new tower will feature an expansion of intensive care units for both infant and older patients.
In most neonatal intensive care units, all of the newborns are kept in a large room where there is limited space for parents and family. Memorial Hermann's new NICU unit will include private rooms with beds, so an infant patient's parents and family can stay in the hospital comfortably overnight.
The unit will also include transitional rooms, which will help NICU patients to transition easily from hospital care to home. Parents can stay in the rooms with their babies and care for their children on their own, but will have the support of nursing staff to answer any questions or provide assistance.
Memorial Hermann is expanding its general intensive care unit as well, adding 20 new ICU beds in the tower, as well as some beds for step-down care from the ICU. There will also be new areas for the family of ICU patients to sleep and shower at the hospital.
"We're trying to think about what the needs of patients and their families are," Kueven said.
In addition to building completely new facilities, Memorial Hermann is renovating its emergency and operating rooms.
The emergency room will be expanded to 24 beds; there are currently 17. A new CT machine is being installed in the ER as well. The new machine will reduce the door-to-CT time for stroke patients, which is ideally under 10 minutes. The facility is the only stroke center in the Katy area, so this affects many patients, Kueven said.
"Right now we average less than 10 minutes, but the lower you can get that down, even by minutes, is very important," Kueven said.
When construction is complete, the first four floors will be operational, while the top two floors will be shells without patient rooms. This will allow the hospital to assess what services are most in need of expansion in the future and use the space accordingly. When the top two floors are built out, they could bring the hospital's total patient bed number to over 300.
"We want to leave the space flexible for what we need in the future," Kueven said. "What we think we need today, in four to five years may not be the same. Then we'll go in and design that space however we need it."