New Highland Unit Specializes in Neurology, Neurosurgery Care

neurological care unitA new unit dedicated to the care of neurological and neurosurgical patients is taking shape at Highland Hospital. The hospital opened 14 renovated beds in May as part of an expansion to URMC’s Neuromedicine Program and expects to finalize the project by fall.

The Neuromedicine Unit integrates neurosurgical and neurological care, allowing for closer collaboration between surgeon and neurologist, along with an extended team of specially trained nurses, patient care technicians, occupational therapists and physical therapists. They will care for patients who have undergone brain, spine, head or neck surgery, or who suffer stroke and other neurological conditions.

When complete, the unit will accommodate 19 patients in state-of-the-art private rooms, with six step-down beds for patients in need of more intense care.

“Highland has demonstrated its strengths in caring for acute neurological conditions, particularly stroke,” said Jason Huang, M.D., chief of Neurosurgery at Highland. “The addition of co-management, a specially trained support team, step-down beds and technology that enables continuous monitoring means Highland will be able to deliver expanded neurosurgical services greatly needed in our region.”

Co-managed care by surgeons and medical providers is a relatively new concept, but has proven benefits, such as those observed in Highland’s Geriatric Fracture Center. Care at that center focuses on close communication and teamwork between orthopaedic surgeons and the medical team, which has led to better patient outcomes such as shorter hospital stays, fewer readmissions and a reduction in the cost of care.

unit hallwayLike the Geriatric Fracture Center, the Neuromedicine Unit builds on one of Highland’s strengths: its recognized leadership in geriatric inpatient care.

“There is a great need for this,” said Bob Holloway, M.D., Highland’s chief of Neurology. “Thirty percent of all hospitalized patients have some type of neurological problem. And as our population ages, we’ll see more patients with age-related neurological disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s.”

Creation of this specialized unit allows Highland to treat patients with more complex conditions, such as normal pressure hydrocephalus. Most common in older people, NPH causes an increase in cerebrospinal fluid in the brain and can damage or destroy tissue.

“Neuromedicine patients are some of our most medically vulnerable, and they need a high level of care,” Huang said. “The design of this unit will make it easier to have all disciplines around the table making decisions to provide targeted, efficient treatment.”

“A neurological condition presents numerous physical and emotional challenges to patients and their families,” Holloway said. “We are going to provide an environment where they feel safe, secure and well cared for by an extended team of providers. We’re confident this approach will deliver the best possible patient outcomes.”

Please join us for an Open House on E-7 at Highland Hospital

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 5  to 7 p.m.

Meet the neuromedicine provider team

Light refreshments will be served

Strong Consult and Transfer Center

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