Last December, Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital announced the renovation and expansion of its hospital-based Emergency Department to better respond to the emergent needs of the greater Montgomery County area. “With the population growth in The Woodlands and surrounding area, demand has increased for the full spectrum of quality care right here where people live and work,” says Josh Urban, CEO. “Our new Emergency Department aims to do just that, with more space, upgraded equipment and increased Memorial Hermann Life Flight® capabilities. We intend to take it a step further by becoming a Level II Trauma Center, capable of handling the sickest patients and most traumatic injuries.”
Urban and his team have been working side-by-side with colleagues at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, which houses one of the nation’s busiest Level I Trauma Centers, to achieve the Level II designation. Among those involved is Martin J. Citardi, MD, FACS, professor and chair of the Department of Otorhinolargyngology-Head and Neck Surgery at UTHealth Medical School and chief of otorhinolaryngology at Memorial Hermann-TMC. “The move to Level II means patients will have immediate 24/7 access to a range of specialists trained to provide emergency and trauma care, including facial plastic and reconstructive surgery,” Dr. Citardi says. “With the expansion of emergency services at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, the UTHealth Department of Otorhinolaryngology has been asked to build an inpatient service to provide care for maxillofacial trauma patients. In parallel we’ll be building a presence in the community working in cooperation with the hospital and with physicians already in the community.”
Dr. Citardi has recruited two physicians trained in maxillofacial trauma and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery: Christian Conderman, MD, and James Owusu, MD, both of whom hold faculty appointments at UTHealth Medical School. The new medical staff members are providing coverage using temporary space as a starting measure, with a full-spectrum otorhinolaryngology office planned for the near future. The new ENT office will have will have four exam rooms and an audiology booth, and will follow the same technological model implemented at the UTHealth practice in the Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza at the Texas Medical Center.
Advanced technology and a strong focus on convenience will help ensure a positive patient experience. Technology will include the Memorial Hermann Image Gateway, a cloud-based solution for the storage of medical imaging that allows physicians to share images with other healthcare facilities worldwide, reducing the need for repeat imaging procedures and eliminating the need for scans copied to CDs. D-Scope will allow physicians in the department to record both still and video images of patient examinations for documentation and to better follow the course of a patient’s treatment. Patients are encouraged to view the recordings to gain a better understanding of their medical conditions. The office will include a designated area for medical photography. In addition, a procedure room will be available for minor procedures. All office-based services will be integrated with those offered at the hospital.
“The new office will be designed to allow us to assemble information from a variety of diverse sources, manage the flow of information efficiently and optimize it for better patient outcomes,” Dr. Citardi says. “Our central mission at the Texas Medical Center and at our new office in The Woodlands is to provide exceptional patient care, and we continue to integrate emerging technology that will allow us to achieve that goal, while at the same time encouraging patients to participate more actively in their own care.”