Dell Seton Medical Center Construction Powers On

Our Victoria Maranan expands on the construction of the new Dell Seton Medical Center and what its visionaries aim to achieve with its unique design and execution.

While the blueprint for transforming Austin's health care is in the eye of visionaries, the complexity of giving it shape remains in the hands of hard hats for another year.

"It is an ambitious goal — we wanted to be in a space of innovating the delivery of care," said Christann Vasquez, Dell Seton Medical Center president.

The new Dell Seton Medical Center is coming together piece by piece.

It will serve as the teaching hospital for the Dell Medical School — which aims to rebuild the healthcare system — an approach Dell Seton shares through its design.

Seton Healthcare's Mike Minks says the new hospital is designed to focus on the patient, keeping them in one place throughout their recovery.

"The idea is you stay comfortable, we'll bring healthcare to you, we'll have this all happen around you and when you're ready to go...we can reset that room and get ready for the next patient," said Minks.

Each patient room will have smart screens so caregivers can access the patient's medical history and monitor their condition in real time.

The operating rooms will also be bigger and equipped with cameras that will allow medical students observe procedures offsite.

All of that sounds high tech and the community will have full access to it because Dell Seton is replacing UMC Brackenridge, the current county hospital.

"In case you haven't noticed, the new hospital is smaller than Brackenridge. That sounds counterproductive, especially for a growing city like Austin. But hospital leaders say they did that on purpose," said Minks.

"We're betting that we can keep people well and out of the hospital," he continued.

Dell Seton believes one of the building blocks of a healthier community is to take patients' health beyond hospital walls and into their own hands, but not without guidance.

"We also want to educate you on how to take care of yourself, we want to engage you in learning about the disease that you have, we want to engage your family to help you take care of yourself," said Vasquez.

Like anything that stands the test of time, whether it's a building or an idea, it all starts from the foundation.

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