Heartside hospital to open new state-of-the-art ICU in early 2009

By: Deborah Johnson Wood

There’s a lot going on at the $60 million Hauenstein Center at Saint Mary’s Health Care: the development of the nation’s only neurosciences center offering inpatient and outpatient care and research under one roof, and the construction of a leading edge emergency room for the entire hospital.

Now a state-of-the-art intensive care unit is approaching its final stages of completion before an early 2009 opening.

A modern environment with a host of new equipment is a big part of the new ICU — private rooms, Emergin technology, motorized lifts to help patients transition in and out of bed easily, cameras that enable nurses to monitor patients who need extra care, built-in music channels with XM stations, iPod ports, and televisions with DVD players.

But perhaps the most important change is something called “acuity adaptable” care.

“If a patient is in ICU and progressing out of that level of care, we used to move the patient to another part of the hospital,” says Michelle Pena, a registered nurse and director for emergency, trauma and critical care services. “With acuity adaptable care, the patient will stay where they are and we’ll adjust the nursing care to fit the patient’s needs.”

Currently, with each move a new team of caregivers must learn the patient's condition, medications and treatments, and the patient has to acclimate to the changes. In the new ICU, the team of caregivers remains virtually the same throughout the patient’s stay.

“Saint Mary’s has been engaged in lean processes over the last three years to increase our efficiencies,” Pena adds. “We’ve improved our turnaround times and decreased the length of stay for patients. This is one more improvement in the process.”

The ICU will occupy the second floor of the Hauenstein Center, and will increase from 14 to 32 beds.

Hospital leaders expect the Hauenstein Center to achieve silver LEED certification.

Source: Michelle Pena, Saint Mary’s Health Care

Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected].

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