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New state-of-the-art ICU opens at Emory University Hospital Midtown

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Janet Christenbury

A new state-of-the-art, specialty intensive care unit (ICU) has opened its doors at Emory University Hospital Midtown, an addition that was needed to meet the increasing demand of critical care patients admitted to the hospital. The 12-bed unit, known as Unit 11 ICU, features the most advanced technology and critical care design, supported by skilled caregivers to care for patients and their families during difficult times.

A multi-disciplinary team of specialists and experts at Emory University Hospital Midtown worked for months to design and develop this ICU, specifically for cardiothoracic and vascular patients.

"Our extraordinary team of specialists, across many departments in the hospital, has worked countless hours designing, developing and now implementing this critical care unit to improve hospital stays, as well as outcomes for our patients," says Bobby Wright, MSN, CEN-BC, MBA, critical care specialty director at Emory University Hospital Midtown.

The $8 million construction and renovation project features spacious patient rooms almost twice the size of the previous rooms, moveable power columns and computers, lifts and oversized furniture for bariatric patients in all rooms, as well as dialysis connections in all rooms. Staff can stock cabinets from the outside of the room to cause fewer disturbances to patients. Families have a work area in each room with computer hook-up access and a couch that pulls out into a queen-sized bed.

In the hallway, there are six pods that serve as decentralized nursing stations. Each pod supports two ICU rooms. A team work center in the front of the ICU allows a centralized place for staff, physicians, residents and fellows to discuss patient care in a multi-disciplinary format. This "team theatre" will serve as a two-way communication between all of the patient rooms and the center itself.

"As our population ages, more and more Americans will require an admission to an intensive care unit," says Timothy Buchman, MD, director of the Emory Center for Critical Care. "Emory must model itself to standardize the delivery of cutting-edge critical care medicine across the system, while integrating patient- and family-centered care, teaching and research into its mission."

The renovation project also includes construction of a new 140-foot patient transport bridge that connects the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) and the operating rooms to the new ICU. This new bridge will reduce patient transport time to the ICU following surgery, while improving quality and safety measures for patients.

"Recognizing the need for an additional ICU, this new unit will greatly benefit our patients and their families," adds Dane Peterson, CEO, Emory University Hospital Midtown. "We are dedicated to ensuring excellence in critical care medicine throughout the hospital and across Emory Healthcare."

With the latest addition of 12 new ICU beds, that brings the total number of ICU beds at Emory University Hospital Midtown to 68.

A renovation of the hospital’s medical/surgical ICU will begin soon to better accommodate general surgery and ENT patients.

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