The year was 1995. The place, Edinburg, Texas.
Eight forward-thinking physicians, concerned that many residents of the Rio Grande Valley lacked access to necessary health care, embarked on a remarkable journey that continues to this day. Working diligently for two years, they laid the groundwork for what would become one of the country’s top-ranked hospitals.
What is now Doctors Hospital at Renaissance opened its doors in 1997 as an ambulatory surgical center. Today, it is a modern, 506-bed acute care facility that provides a full range of medical services, with over 50 specialties and sub specialties. It has been ranked among the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Thomson Reuters (2007 and 2009) and as one of the 100 Top Hospitals® for Cardiovascular Care (2008). “Our vision from the start has been to provide state-of-the-art care of the highest quality for patients at all stages of life and their families,” says Carlos Cardenas, M.D. In addition to being chairman of the hospital’s board, Dr. Cardenas is a practicing gastroenterologist and a founder of South Texas Gastroenterology in Edinburg.
What sets Doctors Hospital at Renaissance apart, he says, is the fact that it is owned and managed by actively practicing physicians. As a result, decisions critical to patient care — for example, what types of equipment to purchase or what the nursing staff-to-patient ratio should be — are made by physicians who are on the front lines treating patients. “This allows us to move quickly to bring necessary technologies and high quality health care into our area,” Dr.
A History of Firsts
It was the first hospital in South Texas to acquire a PET/ CT scanner, an important tool for diagnosing and staging cancer and assessing the effectiveness of a treatment plan. It was the first in the region to introduce da Vinci robotic surgical technology, which is rapidly becoming the standard of care for use in prostate cancer surgery and certain gynecological procedures. And, the Women’s Hospital at Renaissance (WHR) is the first and only facility in South Texas dedicated exclusively to women’s health care. WHR features a level III-C neonatal intensive care unit that was ranked in the top 5%, nationally and internationally , by the Vermont-Oxford Network for Exemplary Outcomes.
In collaboration with The University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio, the Cancer Center at Renaissance is working to establish a Phase II research program. “The Cancer Center offers advanced, multidisciplinary care, not just for cancer, but for people with cancer, including comprehensive diagnosis, proven and innovative treatments, and compassionate support for each patient,” Dr. Cardenas says.
In addition, Renaissance Behavioral Center provides short-term, solution-oriented treatment options for children, adolescents, adults and seniors struggling with mental health problems, substance abuse, or eating disorders. Doctors Hospital at Renaissance is the largest physician-owned facility in the Unites States and offers some of the most comprehensive medical care on the U.S. Southern Border. DHR recently invested over $32 Million to create an Electronic Medical Record System to improve patient care.
Additionally, DHR launched a county-wide effort to create an electronic community medical record platform (RioOne Health Network) that will integrate all medical health record systems in Hidalgo County and allow for physician collaboration on patient care across multiple platforms.
The Renaissance Difference
From the moment you walk in the front door, it is apparent that Doctors Hospital at Renaissance is not just another hospital. “You can see it in the design of our facility,” Dr. Cardenas says. “You can feel it in the warm, friendly greeting of the employee who welcomes you to the hospital and accompanies you to your destination. And you can sense it in the intangibles: the culture of quality and caring, the enthusiasm and dedication of the staff, the refusal to settle for second best.”
Perhaps most important of all, Dr. Cardenas says, “At Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, we allow physicians to be physicians and nurses to be nurses.” And that is good news for patients.