Published on August 29, 2013

Patient Safety Is Focus Of Genesis ICU/CCU Transformation

A patient arrives in the emergency department after suffering severe injuries in a car accident and is taken directly to surgery.

Following surgery, the patient is transported, along with all necessary equipment and healthcare professionals, on a new elevator specifically built and sized for transport of complex patients requiring intensive care.

Now in the ICU/CCU (Intensive Care Unit/ Coronary Care Unit), the patient is treated in a room equipped with the latest technology designed solely for the care and recovery of these complex patients.

A nurse programs the new bed, which features surfaces that provide the latest in skin integrity protection and comfort, while providing a suite of built-in features to aid the nurse in caring for these complex patients. One such feature provides that plays under the patient’s head, even though the patient may be heavily sedated. The musical selections include "babbling brook,’’ "nature’’ and classical music.

If the patient needs to be transported outside of the ICU/CCU, the process of moving the patient can be accomplished in 10 minutes or less. The same task previously took 30 to 40 minutes and more hands.

Patient Safety Features

A tour of the new 20-bed ICU at Genesis Medical Center, East Rusholme Street, Davenport is a look at the latest, safest ICUs being built across the country.

"Everything we’ve done is directly related to the patient’s safety and the best possible outcomes,’’ explained Brad Robinson, RN, BSN MBA CCRN-CSC, Director of Cardiac/Critical Care for Genesis Medical Center, Davenport. "In every way, we have installed the best of breed in technology that complements our strict dedication to evidenced-based best clinical practices.

"I’ve been part of ICU renovations in the past but this was different because it isn’t new space. It’s existing space that needed upgrades.

"Some of the technology used previously in the unit was 15 years old. That is a lifetime in healthcare technology. Something new and better is coming out every 2 or 3 years.’’

The renovated ICU space at Genesis has been intermittently utilized for several years, which was one reason why it needed upgrades such as the elevator and the medical technology.

Preventing "Alarm Fatigue"

One of the important new patient safety features are the new advance clinical hemodynamic monitoring systems. In a busy ICU, alarms may sound dozens or hundreds of times in a single day. Constant alarms can result in a phenomenon widely published as "alarm fatigue". The new technologies deployed in advanced cardiac and hemodynamic monitoring decreases the instances of these false positives making for a more urgent and appropriate response by staff to ensure patient safety. Alarm safety is now an accreditation standard for hospitals.

Music playing through the bed to a patient who is sedated may appear superfluous. Research though, has found that even heavily sedated patients exhibit recovery benefits from the music.

"What they have found is that patients who have music in the background require less pain relief from narcotics and are less anxious about their condition,’’ Robinson added.

The ICU/CCU has upgraded rooms to be more "size wise" friendly for patients who require additional cares due to obesity. Four rooms in the unit are set up to care for obese surgical & medical patients and are equipped with larger beds and higher capacity lifts so that larger patients can be moved and activity advanced to speed their recovery.

The renovation and upgrades are part of the continuous focus by Genesis Health System on patient care, safety and the best possible outcomes.

"It’s not just about keeping up with someone else, or buying new technology because it is the latest,’’ explained Jackie Anhalt, MSN, vice president of patient services and chief nurse executive, Genesis Health System. "It’s always about doing what is best for patients and getting them home safely.’’

The renovated Genesis ICU/CCU will be open for patients on Sept. 3.

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