January 13, 2014

Vanderbilt Heart opens new cardiac procedure area in hospital’s critical care tower

From left to right: Charlotte Chaney; Brad Simmons, Turner Construction; Pam Jones; C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D.; Keith Churchwell, M.D.; David Posch; Robin Steaban, R.N.; Mark Robbins, M.D.; Mitch Edgeworth, MBA

On Feb. 3 the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute will relocate its key procedure areas to the fifth floor of the Critical Care Tower, the Medical Center’s 11-story addition to Vanderbilt University Hospital (VUH) that opened in 2010.

The Heart and Vascular Institute’s Electrophysiology Lab (EP), Cardiac Catheterization (Cath) Lab and Cardiac Observation Unit will move into new space on the fifth floor of the tower.

Through the relocation of these services, patients will be afforded greater privacy with individual holding/recovery rooms. There are also four bays for higher acuity patients that are open to the nurses’ station, allowing for close observation.  The family waiting rooms will also move to the new space in the Critical Care Tower, allowing for greater convenience for both the families and patients.

“We are very energized by this move,” said Keith Churchwell, M.D., executive director and chief medical officer of Vanderbilt Heart. “Consolidating our procedure rooms, holding and waiting areas, and staff work space on one floor will result in improved care for our patients and greater efficiency for the staff caring for them.”

There will be two Hybrid OR suites that can be used as operating rooms if needed. The Hybrid ORs are all-purpose cardiovascular procedural suites that combine all the features of a traditional cardiac surgery operating room with those of a cath lab, allowing for collaboration between cardiac surgeons and interventional cardiologists. The move will also create two additional procedure rooms for a total of nine.

The space takes advantage of new technology by way of a hemodynamic monitoring system that provides direct visualization of right ventricular function following surgery, reducing the occurrence of unnecessary re-operations and facilitating better management of complications. It also affords teleconferencing capabilities and dedicated space for clinical research.

The fifth floor space allows for direct access to the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, which remains in VUH. Patient transport elevators take patients directly from the Emergency Department to the Cardiac Cath Lab, saving valuable time. Clinic visits for Heart & Vascular Institute patients will continue to be held on the fifth floor of Medical Center East.

“As I walk through the new space, I am repeatedly struck by the technical, clinical and environmental advantages this space offers patients,” said Robin Steaban, MSN, R.N., chief administrative officer of Vanderbilt Heart. “Patients will experience a drastic improvement from the current facility. I am also ecstatic about the commitment of Vanderbilt leaders to create a facility to enhance the capability of staff and faculty.

“The space provides the teams with the state-of-the-art tools they have needed for so long to make the extraordinary things they do every day easier, safer and more efficient. What a place this will be to practice.”