Reading Hospital - Tower Health
West Reading, PA
Reading Hospital, the flagship hospital for Tower Health in southeastern Pennsylvania, is beautiful inside and out. From our aesthetically pleasing facilities, built with healing in mind, to our experienced, compassionate physicians and staff, every physical detail on our campus and every personal interaction between staff and patients is delivered with the same purpose: “Advancing Health. Transforming Lives.”. At Reading Hospital, we understand that physical surroundings impact a patient’s sense of calm and healing. When we construct new facilities, we seek input from community members, patients, physicians, and staff who will work in the space to ensure we create structures that advance medical care and enhance our patients’ recovery and well-being. For example, at Reading Hospital, our beautiful two-year-old HealthPlex is the hub for our sophisticated surgical services, expansive Emergency Department, new Pediatric Emergency Department, Level I Trauma Center, and 150 private patient rooms with views to a healing garden and green roof. Because serenity and peace of mind are important components of health and healing, the HealthPlex “healing garden” includes water features and an exterior walkway to the Reading Museum Arboretum. This special healing garden provides respite for patients as they restore their health, and it provides a place of solace for their families. The healing garden includes a Reflection Pool, a series of serene waterfalls flowing over natural stone. Water features contribute to healing by helping lower patients’ blood pressure and enhancing their breathing. The HealthPlex also has an 88,000-square-foot green roof that is the largest of its kind in Pennsylvania and the third largest green roof on a healthcare building in the United States. The green roof provides a beautiful, calm environment for patients and families, and it has numerous environmental benefits, including serving as insulation that keeps the building cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. The green roof is the size of a two-acre park, and includes trees, shrubs, and grass; a pergola; and a water feature. The hospital is proud to have constructed a green roof that protects the environment and, at the same time, enhances patient healing by offering exposure to nature, sunlight and fresh air in a hospital setting. The calming presence of both the green roof and healing garden offer inspiration and stabilization that help make the HealthPlex feel more like home for patients and their families. Reading Hospital’s new child-friendly Pediatric Emergency Department is another example of the hospital’s beauty. The Pediatric Emergency Department, which opened in February 2019, includes an inviting waiting room — complete with a “No Ouch” Zone and interactive screen-play area — and colorful, spacious patient rooms to accommodate families and are accessible to all, including children with special needs. The Pediatric Emergency Department offers warm, compassionate pediatric care in a friendly setting. Our highly experienced pediatric physicians, specialists, nurses, and physician assistants help make our youngest patients feel more comfortable, which helps them heal and reduces stress and anxiety for patients and their families. Specifically designed for pediatric patients, the department includes a specialized pediatric “triage” area, child-specific medical equipment, and specialized programs such as music therapy to ease children’s fear and improve their outlook. There is also a family friendly waiting room with interactive screens and games, a virtual fish tank, and accommodations that ensure children with autism and special needs are as comfortable as possible throughout their visit. Reading Hospital’s physicians and staff play a vital role in the heart, soul, and beauty of the hospital. The culture at the hospital is inclusive, respectful of every patient, and committed to clinical excellence as well as compassion and innovation that benefit all. The hospital’s leaders, medical staff, and employees have a shared vision and drive to continuously improve. Our staff members have received awards from patients for their compassionate, steadfast care. Our physicians and staff treat each person as an individual, respecting their wishes and caring for each person with dignity and respect. For example, Reading Hospital is a leader in providing the Warm Handoff process, which helps people who are treated for an overdose in the Reading Hospital Emergency Department move directly from the hospital into a substance abuse rehabilitation program. Statistics show that warm handoffs correlate to a higher likelihood of recovery for patients with drug addictions, because they are more receptive to drug abuse treatment immediately after an overdose. In 2018, the hospital’s warm handoff program helped move more than 1,000 people directly into recovery programs. Seventy-five percent of patients get placed into treatment, and patients going through the warm handoff had an approximately fifty percent lower death rate than those who did not go through the program. Reading Hospital also serves as a “Center of Excellence” through a grant from the PA Department of Human Services. It is one of 45 centers in the state to provide treatment that addresses not only an individual’s substance use disorder but also the underlying physical and behavioral health issues that often are at the root of their addiction. At Reading Hospital, we also are proud to serve as one of only 32 organizations in the country to have received funding from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to pilot the Accountable Health Communities (AHC) care model, which bridges the gap between Medicare and Medicaid patients’ clinical and social service needs. Our hospital’s deep level of caring creates beauty in the community. Reading Hospital commits resources, time, and energy to improving community health, with programs in place that serve the entire community, including the homeless population. A prime example of Reading Hospital’s depth of compassion is our Street Medicine Program — an initiative that brings medical care to some of Berks County’s neediest people living in shelters, on the streets, and in tent communities. Physicians, providers, residents, clinical staff, IT, and administrative professionals donate their time to provide medical care and services. In 2018, this program cared for more than 800 individuals. The program also guides homeless patients through healthcare services and connects them with important social services. Our hospital’s Community Health Department, supported by the Community Benefit Committee of Reading Hospital’s Board of Directors, also launched the “Be Well Berks” Grant Program — an initiative designed to simultaneously fund community health projects and bring together community-based, nonprofit organizations in Berks County to collaborate on healthcare and human services projects that make the community a healthier place to live. The program funds projects that address the priorities identified in the Community Health Needs Assessment: obesity, access to care, addiction, and mental health. At Reading Hospital, we also offer one-of-a-kind educational programs for youth in the community, including a unique internship program in which high school students learn about careers in healthcare, gain work experience in a variety of departments at the hospital, and work with mentors to advance their professional development skills. We also offer an Adventures in Health Science and Medicinesm program that promotes learning about health science and medical professions for middle school students. Reading Hospital employees bring life and vitality to our facilities, enhancing the patient experience and creating a friendly, compassionate hospital and work environment. To enhance employee health and well-being, which translates to warmth with patients and co-workers, Reading Hospital offers a comprehensive wellness program for employees. A few years ago, for example, more than 4,200 employees participated in a walking challenge that encouraged employees to form teams of 10 and walk a combined 5.6 million virtual steps — the distance from Pennsylvania to California. There were 374 teams that achieved the goal of 5.6 million steps. Combining our goal to serve the community while also enhancing the work environment, Reading Hospital offers an Employee Engagement Initiative that provides employees with an opportunity to participate in one volunteer activity per calendar year during their normal workday. Local organizations benefit from the employees’ volunteer efforts, and the employees benefit from helping in the community and interacting with other employees. At Reading Hospital, we want future generations to enjoy a beautiful, healthy community as well. To that end, Tower Health is partnering with Drexel University College of Medicine (DUCOM) to build a 4-year regional campus near Reading Hospital. The campus is expected to be fully operational for the 2021-2022 academic year. This relationship exemplifies Reading Hospital’s commitment to training the physicians of tomorrow in a high-quality setting, where they will learn how to practice medicine in an environment that has the latest technology with best practices, high reliability of quality outcomes, and acute focus and emphasis on patient safety. In everything we do – from the design of new buildings to our first-rate clinical service and the love and care we provide every patient and each individual in our region – we do so to build a more beautiful, equitable community abundant with health and wellness services that are available at the right time, in the right place for every individual. At Reading Hospital, we are advancing health and transforming lives every day. It is beautiful to experience; just ask our patients and our community.
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