April 16, 2004

VUMC expanding inpatient cardiovascular program

Featured Image

Beth Conklin, Ph.D., and Matthew Ramsey, Ph.D., spoke about the history of medical cannibalism. Photo by Dana Johnson

VUMC expanding inpatient cardiovascular program

Renewing University Hospital: A continuing focus on the transformation of Vanderbilt University Hospital

The Cardiovascular program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has rapidly grown over the past five years. Space has been a top priority. And now the program has found a place to call home.

On Monday, 6 South became a dedicated unit for cardiac surgery and post-procedure patients.

“It’s the starting point of the Vanderbilt Heart Hospital,” said Susan Thurman, manager of inpatient cardiovascular medicine.

“We’re growing. The need for this type of unit has been in the works for a while. We have been scattered throughout the hospital and this will allow our physicians more ease in caring for our patients.”

The space was previously occupied by adolescent medicine as part of Children’s Hospital.

Thurman said the excitement over the new space does not end with the cardiology staff. The expansion of the program creates 17 new telemetry beds, which meets a hospital wide need for additional capacity.

Prior to the opening of the unit, cardiovascular patients were located on 7 North, which has 30 step-down beds, 7 South, home to the CCU with 12 beds, and 9 North, the surgical step-down unit.

The goal, Thurman said, is to house post cardiovascular surgical patients and interventional patients on the new unit. As part of the refurbishment, a cardiac rehab room has also been included. Phase one of the project is expected to cost $500,000.

“Instead of patients walking down the hall for rehab services, they will be able to work on the treadmills, bikes and do light weights as well as receive important teaching from our rehab specialists.

“This is so much more efficient and patient friendly,” Thurman said.

With the addition of the 17-bed unit, cardiovascular medicine has a total of 59 beds. For the program, it’s a few steps closer to its ultimate goal of dedicating an entire floor to cardiovascular medicine.