The University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) is a lifeline for many in the Land of Enchantment.
More than one million patients travel to Albuquerque annually to access the unique medical services that only UNMH provides.
The hospital’s new Critical Care Tower, expected to debut in late 2024, will include an innovative space that will dramatically improve patient access to several types of lifesaving services.
The interventional platform, located on Level 3, will be the largest in New Mexico to consolidate multiple specialties into a single common area. These services are currently spread across different areas of the hospital.
This multi-use space will house four catheterization labs, six interventional radiology suites, 18 operating rooms (two of which will be hybrid and endovascular capable), and 73 post-anesthesia care rooms. There will also be a designated space for equipment storage.
Hospitals across the country, like UNMH, are adopting this novel strategy as an innovative way to share resources, streamline processes and improve patient care.
Veronica Rael, director of the main operating room at UNMH, explained the potential of this dynamic space.
“I like to think of the interventional platform as a central location for surgical and procedural specialties,” she explained. “The ‘IP’ will help UNMH grow with the health care needs of the community.”
As an example, Rael imagined a trauma patient who needs care from different departments. Normally, this would require staff to transport the patient to multiple locations across the hospital, sometimes covering a quarter mile. But thanks to the interventional platform, all of the services the patient might require are on the same floor, just steps away from one another.
The consolidation of these amenities into one shared space will also eliminate the hassle patients often experience when navigating the hospital.
“Having everything centrally located is going to be great for our patients,” said Daniel Mills, director of cardiology services at UNMH. “Instead of having to figure out which departments they need to visit, they simply go to Level 3 and check in at one desk. It’s a big change, but it’s going to be for the better.”
Additionally, the interventional platform will foster collaborative learning among teams working side-by-side. With access to the latest technology, staff can be cross-trained in multiple areas, allowing them to participate in a variety of diverse procedures.
“Staff will have the opportunity to train in a new, up-to-date facility,” Rael said. “As New Mexico’s only Level I trauma center, we want to make sure that we are growing with our community.”