New orthopaedic and surgical tower set to open at TMC

Published: Apr. 19, 2013 at 1:21 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:13 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - While no one wants to go through surgery, Tucson Medical Center aims to attract those who need it with the new four-story TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower that will open May 6th.

Tucson Orthopaedic Institute will have its offices on the first floor, and 10 surgical suites on the third. In those suites, surgeons will have screens that can show any records or notes that they need to see. Video of the procedure can be added to a patient's file. Paperwork at admission is also reduced with an computerized record system.

"That will reduce time in the operating room, which of course is going to save costs, it's going to be better for the patient overall, so all of that has been thought about when designing these operating rooms," Dr. Scott V. Slagis with Tucson Orthopaedic Institute said, as he stood in one of the new suites.

The tower is also designed with a sterile core between all of the surgical suites. When surgeons need equipment that might not have been expected, they will have it waiting through the next door instead of in another part of the medical campus.

"And that can only be better for the patient, not only in the maintenance of that equipment, keeping it in this sterile core, protected, but in being immediately available to the operating room, and that can save patients time in the operating room which translates to better outcomes, " Dr. Slagis said.

The building includes 14 surgical suites on the second floor for almost all types of surgery to include cardiac and vascular, and includes a dedicated pediatric area. Two hybrid rooms allow for non-invasive surgeries to quickly accommodate more involved procedures if the need arises.

The tower has forty private patient rooms that are designed for convenience, from an all-in-one television and assistance-call console to chairs that become beds in seconds for family and friends. Pocket doors to the bathrooms allow easy access for patients.

"When a door opens out, it's difficult to get equipment in there, wheelchairs in the cases of some of these patients, IV poles and other kinds of equipment. These sliding to the side really take that out of the equation," said Linda Wojtowicz, vice president and COO for TMC.

The tower is expected to add to TMC's prominence for surgery while also furthering Tucson Orthopaedic Institute's reputation, not only in Tucson but statewide and beyond.

"It's exciting for all of us. Patients are really going to be better for having had this," Wojtowicz said.

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