You are on page 1of 1

LAC-USCP 9/18/07 1:22 PM Page 239

specialty clinics such as radiation cancer trends in patient care with shorter an integrated delivery system to residents
therapy and physical therapy. patient stays.” of Los Angeles County, regardless of abil-
The fourth building is the central For example, in the 1920s, women who ity to pay.”
plant, and will hold the generators, air gave birth stayed in the hospital for sev- The medical center is on the same site
conditioning equipment and electrical eral days. Today, they are released in 24 as the Keck School of Medicine, USC’s
transformers. The building will be 60,000 or 36 hours. medical school. “As one of the busiest
square feet. “So there is a need for fewer beds and public hospitals in the western United
The general contractor, a joint venture more sophisticated care for a shorter States, LAC + USC Medical Center records
with McCarthy-Clark-Hunt, along with Los period of time,” he explains. nearly 39,000 inpatient discharges, 150,000
Angeles County, broke ground in 2003. emergency department visits and one
High-Tech Features million ambulatory care visits each year,”
‘More Enhanced Services’ The medical center will implement a the university says.
Howard says the original hospital was computerized system of automatic guid- “LAC + USC is the largest single pro-
built in the 1920s and had become func- ed vehicles manufactured by Swiss Logic vider of healthcare in L.A. County, and
tionally obsolete. In 1994, the Northridge to move linens, take away trash and de- treats more than 28 percent of trauma
earthquake severely damaged portions of liver food in certain parts of the hospital. victims in the region,” it continues. “In
the hospital. Also, in its central lab, blood and tissue addition, LAC + USC operates one of only
Also, California passed a law that samples will be processed through a series three burn centers in the county and one
required all hospitals to meet certain seis- of robotic analyzers. Both these systems of the few Level III neonatal intensive
mic standards so that they could handle will reduce staff, Howard says. care units in Southern California.”
earthquakes. For all these reasons, “It It is one of the largest teaching hospi-
was not practical to just update the hos- Keck School of Medicine tals in the nation, according to the uni-
pital,” he says, so the decision was made According to the Los Angeles County versity. The medical center’s staff includes
to build a new facility. Health Services, which will run the facili- 450 full-time faculty from Keck School
“The new medical center will provide ty, the medical center’s mission is to “pro- and 850 medical residents. Its specialized
enhanced services in a better facility,” he vide accessible, affordable and culturally services include a Level I trauma center, a
says. “It will have fewer patient beds that sensitive healthcare to every patient in NIH-funded clinical research center and
the existing hospital following today’s our care [and] to provide services through a HIV/AIDS outpatient center. ■