Published on September 06, 2013

East Campus Unveils New ICU/Coronary Care Unit

A patient arrives in the GMC-East Rusholme Street 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 the necessary equipment and health care professionals, on a new elevator specifically built and sized for transport of complex patients requiring intensive care.

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

A nurse programs the new bed featuring a surface that provides the latest in skin integrity protection and comfort, one of many built-in features to aid the nurse in caring for patients needing intensive care. One such feature provides music that plays beneath 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 him or her can be accomplished in 10 minutes or less. The same task previously took 30 to 40 minutes and more hands.

This new experience for patients and caregivers began Tuesday, Sept. 3, when the GMC-East Rusholme Street Surgical Intensive Care Unit moved from the second floor to the third floor and was renamed the ICU/CCU. The new name more accurately reflects the patient populations who will be served by the unit and solidifies a strong and strategic Genesis commitment as the market leader in cardiovascular care.

The ICU/CCU is located in what was originally built as a Medical Intensive Care Unit during a previous East Campus renovation, but seldom used. The space has received new upgrades for the move, which allows Genesis to expand the number of critical care beds at the East Campus from 12 to 20. More than 50 Genesis colleagues helped make the move, including 13 new nurses hired to help staff the additional beds.

Patient Safety Features

A tour of the new 20-bed ICU 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 health care technology. Something new and better is coming out every two or three 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 new medical technology.

Preventing “Alarm Fatigue”

Among the important patient safety features are the new advanced 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 systems decrease 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 and medical patients and are equipped with larger beds and higher capacity lifts so they can be moved and activity advanced to speed their recovery.

The renovation and upgrades are part of Genesis’ continuous focus 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, MS, MSN, RN-BC, Vice President, Patient Services at Genesis Medical Center, Davenport, and Chief Nurse Executive, Genesis Health System. “It’s always about doing what is best for patients and getting them home safely

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