TMC celebrates the economic impact of hospitals in building healthy communities, healthy economy

Hospital WeekWhat does $740 million in total economic impact look like?

It comes in the form of:

  • Salaries for 5,800 jobs
  • Vast deliveries of office supplies and medical equipment
  • Nutritious ingredients for 3,200 meals served each and every day
  • Technological innovation and capital investment

In short, it looks like Tucson Medical Center – the area’s sixth largest private employer – and its total annual economic impact, most of which occurs at home in Pima County.

Hospitals play a strong role in improving the physical health of a community, from caring for people in emergencies, performing healing surgeries and welcoming babies into the world.

Hospital Week 2Beyond that important work, National Hospital Week, starting May 7, is an appropriate time to celebrate the economic contribution hospitals make. The sector is the largest employer industry in the state, making up 13 percent of Arizona jobs and contributing $22 billion in direct economic impact.

Last year, TMC invested $58 million back into the community, in the form of providing charity care, engaging the community in wellness and helping to fund Medicaid expansion. In fact, nearly 80,000 people were touched by TMC outreach and education programs in 2016, spread across 751 events.

“As one of this region’s largest employers, and as Tucson’s locally-governed nonprofit community hospital, TMC is proud to play an active role in supporting our local economy and helping improve the community’s health and wellness,” said Julia Strange, TMC’s vice president of community benefit.

TMC, Mayo Clinic collaborate on Survive Well: Living with Cancer Symposium


Living with cancer 5

Tucson Medical Center, in collaboration with Mayo Clinic, is pleased to offer the first Survive Well: Living with Cancer Symposium will take place on Saturday, April 22, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Westin La Paloma in Tucson, Arizona. Attendance is FREE.

Living with cancer 2Patients and families living with and overcoming cancer often have questions about the best approaches and strategies for moving forward in treatment or in recovery.

The free event, which Mayo Clinic has successfully offered for the past eight years, is designed to share expertise from well-respected speakers, as well as provide a unique opportunity for supportive dialogue between patients, caregivers and family members. The broad-based symposium will include discussions on physical activity, complementary and integrative therapies and techniques to deal with the stress of these diseases.

Living with cancer 3As a member of the Mayo Clinical Care Network, TMC works with Mayo Clinic to better serve patients and their families, from collaborating on tumor boards, to having access to Mayo grand rounds, as well as sharing best practices. “This symposium is an exciting extension of the work we’re doing with Mayo Clinic, to ensure that our patients benefit from our collective knowledge, with their care as close to home as possible,” said Dr. Robert Brooks, medical director of oncology at TMC.

Dr. Ruben Mesa of Mayo Clinic explained the goal of the symposium is to provide comprehensive information about cancer in a way that is approachable and actionable for patients. “It is also an important opportunity for patients to hear information they may not discuss in the exam room,” he said, “with others who share similar concerns and questions.”

For more information or to save your spot, please visit

Learn more about the advances in hip and knee treatment with Dr. Dalal

Join Dr. Ali H. Dalal from the Tucson Orthopaedic Institute for a free interactive discussion highlighting current advancements in treating joint pain – from non-surgical treatment options to the latest Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted technology.

El DoradoFaster recovery and increased mobility are more accessible than ever before!

If you or a loved one is suffering from joint aches and pains and thinking about seeing a specialist – this discussion is for you.

The presentation and discussion will be held at 1400 N. Wilmot (El Dorado plaza) on April 12 at 5:30 p.m.

Attendance is free, but you must register by calling (520) 324-1960 or you can register online at TMC for Seniors. See you there!


Dalal3Dr. Dalal is a fellowship-trained hip and knee replacement surgeon at Tucson Orthopaedic Institute. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA with a Bachelors of Science in Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology.  He received his M.D. from the University of California San Diego and completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Illinois Chicago.  He completed a fellowship in hip and knee replacement at the Florida Orthopaedic Institute.



Most Wired: Health Information Exchange

Most Wired 2012 artHaving the right tools in place so that care providers can share information is key to creating a successful 21st century health care delivery system. The right technology can connect health care providers across the continuum ‑ including primary care doctors, specialists, assisted-living facilities and nursing homes, hospitals, rehab facilities and public health agencies ‑ to ensure more streamlined continuity of care.

TMC has been at the leading edge of health care information technology. It was the first hospital in Arizona to implement a comprehensive electronic medical record to achieve Stage 7, the highest level to date, on the HIMSS Analytics scale. But health providers use a plethora of electronic records systems – and those systems don’t readily talk to one another. Enter the health information exchange, or HIE, which will provide the infrastructure that will allow the systems to communicate.

TMC is developing this information-exchange capability on two fronts. It is part of a public system being developed at a statewide level by a community-based nonprofit known as the Health Information Network of Arizona. This system, which includes hospitals, health plans and other providers who opt in, is likely to start small when it goes live later in 2012 and will expand incrementally across the state.

TMC, however, is also committed to building its own information exchange to help serve as a building block for its participation in the accountable care organization Arizona Connected Care. With more than 200 providers participating, it’s important to connect these practices, especially in treating those with chronic conditions, especially diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

This private system will be customized to fit the needs of its participation in Arizona Connected Care and will include some advanced features. A basic system allows a user to access patient information. A more sophisticated system could automatically alert the provider that a patient has received emergency care, for example, instead of requiring a provider to search for that information.

TMC is also committed to the public effort as well, since as a practical matter, patients will be getting care from providers who may not be participating in Arizona Connected Care. Read more at Initiative to Link Doctors for Delivery of Stronger Patient Care.

Most Wired: Digital Imaging Streamlines Process, Reduces Delays

There was a time not so long ago when images from heart tests needed to be burned to a CD and stored away to preserve for future reference.

That process took up a lot of space and it consumed a great deal of time when physicians wanted to pull up the historical clinical record, since it required physically locating it. There was also the risk that discs could be misfiled, making the record more difficult to find. And with EKGs, for example, needing to be printed and scanned individually, the process used a great deal of paper.

Electronic medical records have changed all that.

Whether doctors are using an electrocardiogram, or EKG, to test the electrical activity of the heart and look for abnormalities, or whether they’ve sought clues in an echocardiogram, which creates a moving picture of the heart to determine its health, the images are now available within seconds from their computer.

“It’s really amazing to see how far technology has come,” said Anita Bach, the director of cardiac services. “The physicians and staff now have immediate access to the information they need, anywhere in the hospital.”

Bach explained on the echocardiogram, which is more detailed than an X-ray since it allows doctors to see the heart beating, the technicians used to have to write measurements on a piece of paper while doing the test. Those measurements would subsequently be dictated by a physician and then transcribed afterward. Entering the measurements electronically has eliminated the need for transcription, shaving hours off the turnaround time for results.

The electronic imaging capabilities also are used in the vascular and gastrointestinal labs, which used to be scanned on paper into the medical record.

“This technology has not only led to greater efficiencies, but the important thing is that it has allowed for enhanced patient care through faster diagnosis and access to integrated information,” Bach said. “It also ensures a complete, accurate permanent archive of historical clinical information.”

Up We Go: New Operating Rooms to Provide State-of-the-Art Technologies

There was a time when surgeons had to open the chest to treat a potentially fatal blood clot that lodged itself in the lungs.

No longer.  In a minimally-invasive procedure, surgeons now can run a catheter through the groin and apply clot-busting drugs.

In fact, there are a multitude of new, less-invasive high-tech remedies that rely on robotics and high-definition imaging to save patients lives.

“Technological advances are amazing and the new TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower is going to allow us to do even more of that than we do today,” said Dr. Matthew Atlas, an anesthesiologist who practices at TMC.

The second floor of the tower, set to open in spring 2013, will include 14 state-of-the-art operating rooms, while the third floor will include 10 state-of-the-art orthopaedic operating rooms.

The operating rooms will be wired to allow doctors to pull up information from a patient’s chart or history instantly, while new capabilities will allow surgeons to view 3D images, creating a virtual map of a patient’s heart, for example.

The technology also allows for teleconferencing, allowing physicians to consult virtually with other clinicians or to demonstrate a technique for medical students.

Although TMC currently has one operating room with hybrid equipment that allows for a variety of specialized procedures, the new tower will have two, allowing for expanded opportunities for doctors to use the room for the latest treatments.

“Current graduates are all trained in these latest types of procedures and they want to come to a place that understands the need to keep up with advances as they become available,” Atlas said, adding the new tower will help with recruitment and retention.

Aside from the focus on technology, the new design also allows for greater efficiency and mobility.

At an average size of more than 620 square feet, the new operating rooms will be much larger than the existing rooms at TMC, allowing for greater freedom of movement for staff. Cables will be wired through the ceiling, avoiding clutter on the floor.

A new barcoding system will ensure all of the equipment necessary for a procedure is at the ready, but if a new item is needed, surgery team members won’t have to wait to retrieve sterilized equipment. Just outside the door of each of the operating rooms, in what’s known as the sterile core, a full range of equipment and supplies are at the ready.

This new facility is being designed with flexibility for the future, Atlas said. “If you don’t stay up with technology and participate in it, you won’t be ready for what follows. And to fulfill our mission as a community hospital, we are committed to delivering the best care to our patients.”

Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461