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Lutheran’s New Fifth Floor Ready for Patients to Receive Premiere Cardiac Care

Hospital Nears Goal of Providing 100 Percent All Private Patient Rooms

 

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011) – Construction of Lutheran Hospital’s new $42.3 million, 58,649-square-foot fifth floor addition is now complete. Computers, equipment, furniture and finishing touches are currently being added in preparation for patient relocation on Dec. 11. The project’s completion is especially timely given the fact Lutheran Hospital originally opened its doors on Thanksgiving Day in 1904.

A final sneak peek and ribbon cutting were held today. The celebration included comments from City of Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, Lutheran Hospital CEO Brian Bauer and Lutheran Health Network CEO Joe Dorko, as well as tours of the new coronary intensive care and dedicated heart failure units. Community leaders, administrators, board members, hospital associates and key members of the project team were also in attendance.

The hospital’s complex expansion project, which began in spring 2010, focused on the creation of a fifth floor dedicated to cardiac care. An entire level was added to the top of the hospital, resulting in 96 new private patient rooms evenly divided among coronary intensive care, heart failure and two telemetry units. The design was developed locally by MSKTD & Associates Inc. Weigand Construction served as the general contractor.

“With this expansion, cardiac care at Lutheran Hospital is reaching new heights,” said Brian Bauer, CEO, Lutheran Hospital. “The fifth floor exemplifies our continued commitment to lead the region in cardiac-related services. It is the latest installment in a rich history of improvements and expansions addressing the ever-changing needs of our patients and the communities we serve.”

The fifth floor is designed with patients and families in mind. Private rooms offer a quieter, more confidential experience and feature everything the clinical staff needs to provide efficient, convenient care. Each room is equipped with the latest in cardiac monitoring systems and a computer that allows easy, yet secure, access to electronic medical records and computerized physician order entry.

Visitor centers provide a comfortable alternative for families when they aren’t with their loved ones. A special family lounge and kitchenette provide a respite for families of patients who are in coronary intensive care for an extended time.

The new dedicated heart failure unit addresses the needs of a growing population of heart failure patients. This progressive disorder results from the heart’s inability to pump sufficient amounts of blood throughout the body. The unit is focused on caring for heart failure patients, improving clinical outcomes and quality of life while decreasing rehospitalizations.

“Having a dedicated heart failure unit allows us to provide expanded services for patients managing this serious, chronic condition,” said Mark Jones, MD, director of cardiovascular services at Lutheran Hospital. “The new space brings together the high-quality care, new technology, treatment options and education available at Lutheran.”  

Aquapheresis therapy, which removes excess fluid from the body, was introduced at Lutheran for inpatient use in 2009 and will now be offered as part of an outpatient program based in the dedicated heart failure unit. Lutheran is the region’s only accredited heart failure institute, as well as the only hospital in the area offering aquapheresis therapy.

Lutheran’s storied history of regional firsts in cardiac care also includes the heart transplant program, ventricular assist device (VAD) implants, accreditation as a chest pain center and VAD destination therapy certification.

Completion of this project is a major step toward the hospital’s conversion to all private rooms. As of Dec. 11, approximately 80 percent of patient rooms will be private. Renovations of remaining units should be finished by the end of 2012, bringing the total number of private patient rooms to 396.

Other recent renovations at Lutheran included updates to the Childbirth Suites, the neonatal intensive care unit, the cardiovascular intensive care unit and the inpatient oncology unit. An expansion and upgrade to the electrophysiology lab, in which patients receive advanced cardiac care, has also been completed.


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Lutheran performs nearly 200 different types of heart procedures annually and is the region’s only heart transplant facility. Other regional “firsts” include:

 Opening a coronary care unit    (1967)

 Performing a coronary artery bypass    (1970)

 Performing a coronary angiogram    (1970)

 Performing a complete heart catheterization    (1977)

 Opening a dedicated inpatient cath lab    (1979)

 Opening a regional heart clinic    (1979)

 Performing a coronary angioplasty    (1981)

 Performing a heart transplant    (1985)

 Implanting an artificial heart    (1987)

 Performing a heart-lung transplant    (1989)

 Transplanting a heart in a patient older than 70    (world first / 1990)

 Performing a radiofrequency ablation for an arrhythmia    (1990)

 Procuring a heart for transplantation from a donor older than 55    (world first / 1990)

 Opening a dedicated outpatient cath lab    (1991)

 Implanting a coronary flex stent    (1993)

 Having a patient discharged from hospital with a ventricular assist device    (state first / 1999)

 Becoming one of only 30 Heart Hope Centers in the country, and first in the state, to receive
    FDA-approval to implement HeartMate destination therapy for heart failure patients    (2003)

 Earning accreditation as a Chest Pain Center    (2004)


 Initiating Level 1 Heart, a regional chest pain network that enhances the level of
    care for acute heart attack patients    (2008)
  
 Having a patient receive a Thoratec HeartMate II left ventricular assist device    (2008)

 Receiving accreditation as one of the first eight heart failure institutes in the country    (2009)

 Using aquapheresis as a treatment option for heart failure    (2009)

 Receiving ventricular assist device destination therapy certification from The Joint Commission    (2010) 


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