A patient goes from open heart surgery to a hospital room where they will receive all levels of attention from critical care to discharge.
A system allows remote monitoring of patient vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rates when staff are not in the room.
The nurse’s iPhone is alerted when a problem pops up in the patient’s vital signs.
A relative is able to stay in the patient’s room 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even when the patient is in the critical stage.
The changes are coming with the opening Nov. 6 of the $180 million Heart and Vascular Institute at the Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.
Finishing touches are being placed on the Lake’s new, nine-story facility at Essen Lane and Hennessy Boulevard.
Research shows moving patients less and “fewer changes in the caregiving team” translate to faster healing and greater safety, as well as greater comfort for patients and their families, said Terrie Sterling, the medical center’s chief operating officer.
The GetWell Network interactive system expands in-room education and entertainment options. Through a remote control, patients and families can dial up information about their medical condition, treatment plans and medication; contact staff members; access email accounts; and watch TV and on-demand movies.
“We are really excited about the family being able to be present,” Sterling said. “The other component means there will be a caregiver there with them at all times.”
The Lake had not built new intensive care-critical care units since it moved to the Hennessy campus more than 30 years ago, Sterling said.
While its name emphasizes cardiovascular medicine, all critical care units except those involving trauma cases will also move from the main hospital to the new facility.
Every type room in the facility was built somewhere else and outfitted as designed to see how it would function and whether changes need to be made, Sterling said.
The institute, when opens next week, will include 141 new beds for patients, six operating rooms, special labs and intensive care units.
A hybrid operating room allows for two procedures to happen in the same room in one operation. The facility also provides a setting for LSU medical education programs now housed on the Lake’s campus.
With the opening, the total number of licensed beds at the Lake increases to 801, and operating rooms on the Lake campus increase to 40.
The whole building is Wi-Fi equipped, said Karen Engelhardt, who administers the heart center.
The feature will also be extended to the Assisi Healing Garden on the first floor.
The care provider can access medical records immediately electronically.
The institute’s teaching center will also be the place for morning reports, as patient’s cases are reviewed and faculty lectures for 180 medical residents and prospective specialists.
There are high-definition cameras that will zero in on procedures on the operating room table with monitors all around that show surgery in progress and patient vital signs and records.
Images can be routed to any of a number of monitors during surgery, and LSU physicians in training can listen and watch live from a graduate medical education teaching center on the first floor of the building.
There will also be the capacity to broadcast procedures to the separate medical education building nearing completion on the Lake campus.
“You can video the whole case and put on a flash drive. I like to compare it to a YouTube video,” said Holly Leonard, a nurse manager.