St. Catherine Hospital began 2017 with a new, rededicated Intensive Care Unit. The 16-bed unit was completely redesigned as part of a $2 million project by the hospital, a Community Healthcare System affiliate.
Located on the third floor of the hospital, 4321 Fir St., the ICU received its first patient Monday, Dec. 5, following a Nov. 30 blessing and ribbon cutting ceremony.
“This truly is a special unit,” said Jo Ann Birdzell, chief executive officer of St. Catherine Hospital. “Our new ICU provides our nurses, physicians, and their patients with the finest critical care facilities, systems, technology and equipment among Northwest Indiana.”
The new, open-air styled unit features an oval work station with enclosed glass, and multiple entry and exit points. This design element gives medical and nursing staff a panoramic, 360-degree view of all patient rooms.
Before construction, the ICU was divided by a storage area and functioned with two eight-room modules. With this expansion, new counters were built within the oval workstation. Alcoves were created to store equipment out of walkways and keep supplies close at hand.
“Dedicated, expanded storage for all those items essential to a smooth-functioning ICU has been provided to maximize the use of space dedicated to patient care,” Birdzell said.
Patient rooms have been redesigned in a way that opens up space to better accommodate medical staff, nurses and visitors. Beds were repositioned to offer patients and visitors better views of the windows, skylights and work station. Panels for vital equipment hook-ups, including dialysis, were installed behind the beds and in side walls, maximizing mobility and efficiencies for patient care.
Privacy glass decreases noise to patient rooms. Ceiling-mounted glass doors retract for easy movement, room expansion and cleaning.
The LED-lit unit includes an isolation suite, respiratory room for ventilator decontamination and easily accessible personal protective equipment. Two rooms are outfitted with patient lifts. Flooring is cushioned and furnishings enhanced; all fabric and materials in the unit are antimicrobial to reinforce infection control and a sterile environment.
Visitor comforts were put in place, as well. The new unit offers recliner chairs and sleeper couches for 24-hour, bedside visitation.
“Our hospital has long been in the forefront of medical change to offer the best possible care to our patients and the community we serve in an outstanding way,” added Birdzell. “As a hospital that has consistently earned a 5-Star rating for quality care and positive healthcare outcomes by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the ICU is another solid sign of our commitment to continue to look for ways to improve our offerings to those we serve.”
In 2016, the hospital expanded its Emergency Department waiting area and added a triage room. Work is currently underway to expand the hospital’s Anti-Coagulation and Outpatient Retail Pharmacy in 2017.