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The newly renovated surgical intensive care unit (SICU) on 8-3600 debuted in mid-February, marking the first step in a series of renovations to the eighth floor.
"The upgraded facilities are a positive change from the old unit," said David Kaufman, M.D., F.C.C.M., director of the SICU. "Staff members, patients and their families are extremely pleased with the improvements."
The 12 patient rooms on 8-3600 are each 320 square feet, more than double the amount of space in the unit's previous location. All rooms are capable of delivering kidney dialysis, an important enhancement, as a considerable number of these patients experience kidney failure. In addition, several positive and negative pressure rooms are available to care for patients with compromised immune systems or communicable diseases. The bigger room size also accommodates large equipment that may need to be brought in for patient tests and treatments. Decentralized nursing stations just outside each room keep the nurses close to the patients.
Increased family communication and comfort were significant focuses as plans were developed for the renovations. All rooms contain a distinct adjacent area for family members enabling them to stay with the patient as much as they want. In addition, each family area has a network drop so personal computers can easily reach the Internet.
The SICU renovations are part of a 36,000 square foot overhaul to the eighth floor of the hospital, and will help deal with the capacity issues facing Strong Memorial Hospital. With the SICU work completed, construction is now underway on the medical intensive care unit, 8-1600, which is now housed on 8-1400, also a newly renovated unit that will serve as a surgical ICU/intermediate care unit once the medical ICU is completed. In addition, a new family waiting room on the eighth floor complete with a private consultation room for discussions with medical and social work staff also was incorporated into the design to improve and facilitate ongoing communications with patients' families.
When all work is finished on the eighth floor, Strong plans to have a total of 70 fully staffed ICU beds, and 25 intermediate-level care beds throughout the hospital.
"These projects will have a significant impact on our long-term ability to take care of an increasing number of critically ill patients, and to enhance the care we provide to patients and to their families," noted Kathy Parrinello, chief operating officer of Strong Memorial.
Parrinello said that a 10-bed medical unit was recently opened on 1-9300,
adding that the hospital will continue to evaluate and renovate clinical
space to help ease bed capacity issues.
One of the Medical Center's most massive software replacement projects is just weeks away from full implementation. On Apr. 28, the Flowcast Enterprise Implementation Project will go live, officially replacing Strong Memorial Hospital's Patient Management and Patient Accounting system, commonly referred to as the Omega system. When this occurs, the Flowcast system will have widespread reach, touching every aspect of Strong's patient management and clinical operations including Admitting, Emergency Department, Labs, Psychiatry, Imaging Sciences, as well as all Strong Memorial Hospital billing.
Planning and implementation have been underway since early 2005, and according to Jerry Powell, chief information officer at URMC, the immense impact the Omega system has on all Strong Memorial operations makes this one of the most difficult software transitions.
"The Omega system is central to the delivery of clinical services at Strong Memorial Hospital," said Powell. "The transition is incredibly complex due to the vast reach Omega has on so many different systems and operations. In addition, this complex transition happens within a short timeframe."
Leading the project team is Tina DePalo, who along with a staff of 25, has been diligently working over the past three years on the roll out. DePalo said that a primary benefit of the new system is that it will enable our organization to adopt one patient identifier across all URMC clinical entities, allowing for more efficient management of all information associated with an individual patient. The system also enables common scheduling and registration between faculty and hospital visits, and brings URMC one step closer to developing a more complete electronic health record.
The Flowcast system is a familiar product to many staff, as portions of the software package are already being used by all ambulatory clinics and Medical Faculty offices to schedule outpatient visits and for all URMFG billing.
Robust Training Program
"A successful Flowcast implementation is critical to delivering on financial, patient satisfaction and clinical goals," said Len Shute, Strong Memorial's chief financial officer. "We've learned from other software roll outs that training makes a world of difference in a transition like this. I can't stress how important it is that staff actively participates in the hands-on training and Learning Labs, for that will be the only way they will gain the competence to navigate the system the day it goes live."
More than 1,800 staff are scheduled to complete hands-on training and computer-based training to learn the new system. Depending on a person's position, staff will be plugged into one of 15 different training tracks that can take from four hours to four days. The classes are offered around the clock to accommodate all schedules. Managers and supervisors are expected to send appropriate staff to the training, and practice in the Learning Labs is a mandatory training requirement. The most up-to-date training information is available at the Flowcast Web site, accessible through the main Intranet home page.
Even with such an intensive training program, DePalo said that she initially expects a slow down as staff become familiar with the new system.
"We will be alerting all of our partners, such as referring physicians,
EMS community, and lab clients of the conversion, and asking them for
their patience as we get up to speed and work out the bugs of the system,"
DePalo added. "In addition, signs and flyers will be posted at patient
check-in/check-out areas alerting them to the new registration and billing
Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals have partnered to open The Women's Health Pavilion, a destination for world-class women's specialty care located at 500 Red Creek Drive in Henrietta.
Designed to improve access to the hospitals' advanced services for women, The Women's Health Pavilion is home to Highland Breast Imaging Center, Strong Health Midwifery Group, Strong Gynecologic Specialties, Strong Fertility Center, Strong Perinatal Associates, Strong Ob/Gyn Ultrasound and Strong Pelvic Health and Continence Specialties.
Strong Perinatal Associates will continue to provide ob/gyn ultrasound services at Strong Memorial, while all outpatient care provided by the various women specialty groups will now occur at The Women's Health Pavilion. Strong Health Midwifery Group continues its services at 905 Culver Road in addition to expanding to the new location. Primary ob/gyn care, offered by the Women's Health Practice at Strong, remains at ACF-5.
"Our vision was to design a center devoted to women that would be comfortable and make it easy for them to access nationally known experts in specialty services they may need throughout their lifetime," said James R. Woods Jr., M.D., Henry A. Thiede Professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at URMC and Strong Memorial Hospital.
"The Women's Health Pavilion also gives Highland the opportunity to build upon its reputation as a community leader in breast care," said Laurie W. Ernest, M.S., R.N.C., director, Ambulatory Care Services and director, Ambulatory Nursing for Highland Hospital.
The Women's Health Pavilion offers unique specialty services to the community including:
Stephen Dewhurst, Ph.D., dean's professor of Microbiology and Immunology, has been named senior associate dean for basic research at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, effective Mar. 1.
The senior associate dean for basic research is charged with fostering a research environment that drives scientific breakthroughs, supports multi-disciplinary collaboration and translates basic science into new treatments for major diseases.
"I am very pleased to be able to announce Dr. Dewhurst's appointment because he is a successful, veteran researcher who is highly respected by his peers, as well an award-winning educator," said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Dewhurst earned his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1987, followed by postdoctoral training at Columbia University and the Harvard School of Public Health. His doctoral and postdoctoral work focused on the mechanisms by which HIV and related viruses cause disease. He joined the faculty of URMC in 1990, became dean's professor of Microbiology & Immunology in 2002 and associate chair of that department in 2005.
"Given his obvious leadership abilities and knowledge of this institution, Dr. Dewhurst is the right individual to take basic research, a cornerstone of the scientific enterprise in Rochester, to the next level," said Bradford Berk, M.D. Ph.D., CEO of URMC and Strong Health.
With more than 20 years experience as a molecular virologist, Dewhurst's research is focused on developing novel methods for the delivery of experimental HIV and herpes vaccines. He also made key discoveries as part of a team that in October 2006 received a $7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop experimental drugs against neuroAIDS, the nerve damage caused by HIV infection that lessens many patients' ability to think and move.
Dewhurst has served on several NIH special emphasis and regular grant review panels, and is a former study section chair for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He is a member of the NIH Recombinant Advisory Committee, which oversees all gene therapy studies in humans, and is chair of the University of Rochester Institutional Biosafety Committee.
An accomplished mentor, Dewhurst received the Graduate Student Society Faculty Teaching Award in 1996 and the Graduate Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Education in 2001. He serves as director of the UR Post-Baccalaureate Research and Education Program, which provides training in microbiology and immunology for under-represented minority students. He is also the current PI of a NIH-funded pre-doctoral training program in HIV-1 research, as well as the former director of the BIO REU program for undergraduate summer students.
Dewhurst is to replace Howard J. Federoff, M.D., Ph.D., who will become
executive dean of the School of Medicine at Georgetown University starting
On March 7, close to 60 representatives from throughout the Medical Center and Highland Hospital, as well as two members of the Medical Center's Board, converged on the Capitol Steps in Albany to join 3,000 other health care workers from across New York state to protest the proposed cuts in Governor Spitzer's budget plan. The combined effect of cuts proposed at both the federal and state level are the most substantial ever faced by the health care industry, and will have dire consequences on hospitals throughout New York state.