Reverend Justin Olisaemeka, Administrator of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, blesses the new Linear Accelerator Thursday during a dedication and blessing ceremony at St. Mary's Hospital. The blessing and dedication were part of a ceremony highlighting the readiness of the Advanced Intensive Care Unit and Linear Accelerator.
Centralia - A continuing mission to improve the quality of health care at St. Mary’s Hospital reached a milestone on Thursday, as the hospital’s new Intensive Care Unit and Linear Accelerator were dedicated and blessed.
Construction of the new 12-room Intensive Care Unit began in August 2010. The new ICU – an investment thus far of more than $4 million – features state-of-the-art medical technology and will provide exceptional patient and family amenities.
“Patients recover better in an environment that offers exceptional care and is also calming to the senses and allows for their families to be close at hand,” said Bruce Merrell, President of St. Mary’s Hospital.
The “family zone” in each room provides space for multiple members of a family to spend time with the recovering patient. A family member also will be able to comfortably stay overnight with a loved one.
Thursday’s dedication and blessing exemplified another collaboration of SSM Health Care and Felician Services, cosponsors of St. Mary’s Hospital. Members of both partnering groups were on hand to mark the event, including Sister Mary Jean Ryan, FSM, Chairperson of SSM Health Care; Sister Clarette Stryzewski, CSSF, President & CEO of Felician Services; Phil Gustafson, FACHE; CEO of St. Mary’s Good Samaritan & Vice President SSM Health Care; Merrell, FACHE; President of St. Mary’s Hospital; Dr. Naeem Khan, Medical Director of Cardiology and Cardiac Cath Lab at St. Mary’s Hospital; and Tracy Fiscus, RN, MSN, ICU Director at St. Mary’s Hospital.
Also on hand for the dedication and blessing were Sister Andrea Chudzik, CSSF, Director of Mission Effectiveness at St. Mary’s Hospital; Reverend Justin Olisaemeka, Administrator of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church; Deacon John Hempen, Pastoral Associate at St. Mary’s Hospital; and Chaplain Sumner Morrison, Director of Pastoral Care at St. Mary’s Hospital.
Industry-leading technology within the new ICU includes medication dispensing units specific in each patient’s room, reducing the risk of medication error and making the patient’s medication more readily available. Decentralized nursing stations allow the caregiver to be closer to the patient. In addition, a new state-of-the-art cardiac monitoring system along with top-of-the-line critical care beds, are in place for the new ICU.
The overall design of the new ICU creates a healing environment with colors and artwork that promote a sense of calm and serenity. Some of the aesthetics and technology of the new unit have come from generous gifts from donors who are community members, families of patients, employees and physicians.
“We are blessed to have friends in the community who believe in the mission of St. Mary’s Hospital and the exceptional services we provide,” said Scott Niermann, director of the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation. “With the help of faithful Foundation supporters, this new unit includes artwork and technological advancements that will help both patients and their families to recuperate and heal.”
A linear accelerator is the device most commonly used for external beam radiation treatments for patients with cancer. The linear accelerator is used to treat all parts/organs of the body. It delivers a uniform dose of high-energy x-ray to the region of the patient’s tumor. These x-rays can destroy the cancer cells while sparing the surrounding normal tissue.
The new $1.56 million linear accelerator at St. Mary’s Hospital utilizes a brass multileaf collimator (MLC) system to shape each individual treatment field. This system uses 120 individual MLC “fingers” that slide in and out shaping the beam around the tumor.
The new linear accelerator replaces an older unit that used lead blocks to shape each individual field. Some patients required six individual blocks, with each block mounted to a tray and the therapist had to enter the room and manually change each block.
The new ICU and Linear Accelerator provide the latest in a series of accomplishments at St. Mary’s Hospital this year. Press Ganey Associates, Inc. recently twice named the hospital a 2011 Summit Award® winner. The awards honored the hospital for both inpatient satisfaction and clinical care. The Summit Award recognizes facilities that sustain the highest level of performance for three or more consecutive years. St. Mary’s ranks in the 95th percentile nationally for inpatient satisfaction, as well as the top 3% in clinical care across 26 quality indicators.
The awards add to St. Mary’s growing portfolio of national accolades. Over the past year, St. Mary’s has been nationally recognized eight times, including J.D. Power and Associates for “An Outstanding Inpatient Experience,” HealthGrades, Premier Quest and Women’s Certified. These latest additions further emphasize the hospital’s commitment toward patient care.
“Our mission has always been about putting the patient first,” said Merrell. “These recognitions confirm that our patients’ satisfaction and the quality of care they are receiving is exceptional. They’re a testament to each and every member of our team that works hard to ensure its top notch. From start to finish, it’s a completely new and remarkable patient and family experience at St. Mary’s and we’ve got eight awards in recognition of this.”
Facts regarding the new ICU in Centralia
- The patient rooms are divided into three zones — a caregiver zone, a patient zone and a family zone. The spacious “family zone” in each of the patient rooms will allow the patients’ loved ones to stay in the room with them.
- A decentralized model of nursing care will be implemented in the new unit allowing nurses to be with patients rather than at a centralized station.
- A new Philips cardiac monitoring system will provide state-of-the-art monitoring for critically ill patients. The system consists of 12 bedside monitors and a central viewing station which will provide the following types of monitoring: EKG, Non-Invasive Blood Pressure, SPO2 , End tidal CO2 as well as invasive pressure monitoring for arterial and heart pressures.
- Each patient room will be very user-friendly for the caregiver. MedProx Medication Dispensing Units will be in each room allowing the nurse to dispense routine medications at the bedside without going to another location to obtain the medications. A critical care cart will be stored in the footwall cabinetry which will have routine supplies needed to care for a critically ill patient. All of these added features allow the nurse to have more time with the patient rather than retrieving medications or supplies.
- The Family Lounges feature flat screen televisions, comfortable furniture, a sleeping area and a dining area.