Driscoll’s state-of-the-art Pavilion offers comfort, high-tech medical care

Driscoll Children’s Hospital’s recently opened Pavilion houses
a larger, modernized Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), including a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) dedicated to managing pediatric congenital heart disease; the Outpatient Surgery Center; and an Outpatient Laboratory.

CORPUS CHRISTI – Comfort and cutting-edge technology. Families will find all this and more at Driscoll Children’s Hospital’s Pavilion, a revolutionary step forward for the future of pediatric healthcare in South Texas.

As you walk into the lobby of the brand-new building, you are instantly aware of the spaciousness and the natural light streaming in. Such calming elements are a critical part of the building’s design.

Its design is meant to be comforting to parents and their children, who initially may be apprehensive about being in a hospital.

John Karl Maher, MD, Medical Director of Critical Care Services, with the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit’s ECMO Machine, which pumps and oxygenates blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest.

Bright colors throughout dispel such notions, as families discover the environment is just as warm and welcoming as the physicians and other staff who are eager to provide the finest healthcare possible. They quickly discover the Pavilion is a safe place for everyone.

Comfort is not the only element that was built in to the Pavilion; its reassuring qualities provide a festive, family atmosphere.

The facility’s main elevators feature blue tile elephants parading across the front. Such a whimsical theme is carried out with bright colors and play areas throughout, including “Spencer’s Place,” which features interactive light boards to entertain young and old alike.

Once inside the Pavilion’s clinics, the emphasis is on state-of-the-art medical equipment, all dedicated to providing the best healthcare for the children of South Texas in a family-friendly environment.

The Pavilion features three units: a larger, modernized Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), including a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) dedicated to managing pediatric congenital heart disease; the Outpatient Surgery Center; and an Outpatient Laboratory.

“I have received a lot of compliments from families about the new Pavilion. In many different ways, it takes patient satisfaction to a higher level,” said Sofia Elizondo, Driscoll’s Patient Relations Representative for the PICU and Day Surgery.

Elephants prance across the first floor elevators at the Pavilion. Such whimsical features make the new facility colorful and comforting to a child.

In the PICU, Elizondo said families are thrilled to have spacious private rooms designed to make patients and parents feel more at home.

“Everyone loves the privacy in the PICU, especially families of recurring patients,” said Elizondo.

Going from an open bay area to private rooms featuring a sleeping area for the parents and individual restrooms is a godsend for families who want to be together.

“The ability to have larger rooms, a bathroom in each room and the overall aesthetic improvements contributes to the patient experience and the overall quality outcome,” said PICU Director Trey Stice, MSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC.

Stice praised the new technology installed and the staff embracing it.

“We have an all-new patient monitoring system that will greatly enhance our clinical care model. These monitors are state-of-the-art and allow for all the monitoring necessary for a critically ill child,” said Stice. “For our staff, the ability to have a state-of-the-art facility, to match the state-of-the-art care they give each day, provides an even greater sense of purpose and joy to all our Driscoll family.”

The CICU is designed to have the same staff take care of infants and children from day of admission to day of discharge from the hospital for continuity of care. This specialized team of pediatric intensivists, neonatologists, cardiologists, congenital heart surgeons and anesthesiologists work together with all the cardiac nursing staff to provide coordinated care. The new space allows for all the equipment that is sometimes needed, like the heart lung machine for infants and children who have heart or lung failure. In addition to the added space for a family member in each room, a quieter healing environment is offered.

Customer experience is important in Day Surgery, which features brand-new equipment and larger private rooms.

“Parents like the fact that the waiting area is so much larger, especially now with COVID-19, since it allows all families to properly follow physical distancing,” said Elizondo.

“Day Surgery has expanded to include the ability for extended observation of post-op patients,” said Director of Perianesthesia Angelia Reeder, RN, BSN, MBA, CPAN.

Reeder said offering Day Surgery patients larger private rooms and family-accessible parking at the front of the building ties in with Driscoll’s emphasis on convenience and family-centered care.

Like the other departments, the Outpatient Laboratory is designed to maximize the patient experience.

“We were so excited to move into the new Outpatient Collection Site, which provides our patients with an ease of entrance, spacious ‘sick’ and ‘well’ waiting rooms, an open atmosphere, beautiful new furniture with an array of pleasing colors – all leading to a happier, satisfied customer,” said Tecia Carter, BS, MT (ASCP), Administrative Laboratory Director.

“The new Pavilion is beautiful!”

“Everyone was so friendly.”

“We love the new space, the new area.”

The three quotes above are some of the written comments the Driscoll Patient Relations team has received about the Pavilion. In addition to offering the best in patient care, the Pavilion is receiving high praise for being family-oriented and meeting the needs of the children of South Texas.