LEWISBURG - Staff received a sneak peek at Evangelical Community Hospital's surgical and cardiovascular expansion during a recent open house.
The expected move-in date for the 42,000-square-foot facility is July 7, said Deanna Hollenbach, public relations manager.
On a self-guided tour, people received a first look at the cardiac rehabilitation area, stress test room, catheterization suite, nurses's station, surgical suite and post-anesthesia care unit.
Ground was broken for the project March 19, 2010. The $34 million project was made possible with $18 million in gifts and grants.
The cardiac rehabilitation offers a full-service, accredited program that focuses on regular physical activity, counseling and education to help patients get stronger. Risk factors, such as smoking and diet, are addressed to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
The cardiac rehabilitation program has 35 years of experience in helping patients improve their quality of life following a heart procedure, Hollenbach said.
The echocardiography and stress testing equipment allows staff to use ultrasound waves to show images of the heart, said Jill Walker, technical director of the laboratory.
Staff take images of the patient's heart before and immediately after getting on a treadmill so physicians can identify heart abnormalities and treatment needs.
The testing usually is done when a patient mentions having chest pain. Staff look first at the heart, because if something is wrong with that organ, it is a "major, major thing," she said.
If the heart is fine, staff can send the patient to other departments for other parts of the body to be checked.
In the catheterization suite, life-saving interventional cardiovascular procedures can be done in one of two labs. Patients who once were candidates for open heart surgery can be treated there with balloon angioplasty and stents.
In an emergency situation, patients with severe chest pain, who might be experiencing a heart attack, can be examined by staff right away, said Christine Gilfert, radiological technician.
During a heart attack, something is blocked and the heart cannot get enough blood. To combat that, an incision is made directly into an artery, either through the wrist or groin, to see where the blockage is and open the vessel.
Once the vessel is open, the patient will be fine, Gilfert said.
The procedure can be done in five minutes once the patient is on the table, which can hold up to 450 pounds, she said.
The lab also can be used in non-emergency situations if a patient has chest pains and wants to be examined.
In the procedure care unit, seven beds, including one isolation room, are available to prepare patients for surgeries, said Ann Rachau, registered nurse.
Each bed has a monitor for the nurses and every patient's information can be brought up on any monitor.
The operation room's control desk offers a place for people to observe where every surgeon is on a large screen, using patient tracking technology.
Set to automatically update every 30 seconds, the screen lets families know where the surgeon is, who he or she is working on and at what stage the surgery is in. Having the information available lets people know if surgeries are running long.
On the screen, patients are identified only by their initials.
Eight operating rooms will be available for use, an upgrade from the previous six. They are 63 percent larger and feature video monitors and ceiling-mounted booms to provide surgeons access to real-time images and a variety of specialized equipment.
A hybrid operating room allows surgeons and staff to perform multiple procedures without moving the patient, which speeds recovery and reduces the likelihood of infections.
The hybrid operating room combines diagnostic imaging and surgical capabilities to guide physicians in the completion of complex vascular procedures and minimally invasive surgeries.
"It's something to be proud of," said Billie Haas, registered nurse. "All of us, we helped do this."
In the post-anesthesia care unit, known as PACU, 16 beds within an open-bay area with a central station allows nurses to keep track of several patients at once.
The room is a place for patients to rest while the anesthesia from surgeries wears off, which normally takes between an hour to 90 minutes, said Michele Switzer, registered nurse.
One of the beds is in an isolation room for patients with anxiety issues or with contagious diseases.