Local hospital using speedy European technique for build

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on August 12, 2011 at 6:22 PM

KELLER - At the same time the outside body of the Texas Health Alliance hospital is being built, the inside guts -- right down to pipes, wires, plumbing, even patient rooms -- are being assembled in a nearby warehouse.

It will all be moved over in complete sections, once the medical center's walls are closed in.

Pre-fabrication is a European technique that will get this much needed hospital built faster.

"Given the booming population here, and the need for healthcare in this community, that means this community will get healthcare quicker," said hospital president Winjie Miao.

Texas Health Alliance is at the half-way point in the building process. The facility is located at Interstate-35 and Golden Triangle Boulevard. It is master-planned for 350 beds. Only 100 beds are part of the first phase.

Currently, residents that live in far northern Tarrant County may have to drive miles in heavy traffic to get to a major hospital. It takes ambulances half an hour or more to make it to a Fort Worth emergency room.

The new facility will have a 24-hour ER. The hospital is also trying out innovative new technology as part of the design. Among them, location badges that will track every employee and patient.

The technology has far-reaching applications.

"For example, if there's been an infection somewhere, we can track everyone who's been in contact with them and all the locations they've been," said project consultant Kathi Cox.

Texas Health Alliance should be complete by fall 2012. None too soon for residents who need medical care around the corner.

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