Completed 5th floor unites cardiac care, adds private rooms
Sherry Slater | The Journal Gazette
Lutheran Hospital officials on Tuesday cut shiny blue ceremonial ribbons to signify the completion of the building’s fifth-floor addition.
The event, attended by numerous local officials, was the culmination of a $42.3 million building project that added 58,649 square feet to a busy hospital that continued to operate throughout construction.
Patients will move into the 96 private rooms on the fifth floor on Dec. 11. At that point, 80 percent of the hospital’s rooms will be private. Lutheran will remodel double-occupancy rooms next year until all its rooms are single-occupancy.
When the remodels are complete, the hospital will have 396 private rooms, compared with 315 private and 88 semiprivate rooms as of May 2010, when Lutheran officials first announced the project.
MSKTD & Associates Inc. designed the addition, and Weigand Construction served as general contractor. Both are Fort Wayne-based firms.
Lutheran officials decided to cluster the hospital’s cardiac patients in the fifth floor’s four units. Two are designated for cardiac telemetry, which allows heart patients to walk around even as their vital signs are continually monitored.
One unit is for coronary intensive care, where critically ill patients are placed after invasive heart procedures or while waiting for heart transplant surgery.
And the fourth unit is for heart failure care. Heart failure is a progressive, degenerative condition that comes in multiple forms, said Joyce Walz, Lutheran Hospital’s executive director of cardiac services. Potential triggers include virus, heart disease and cancer treatments, she said.
In such patients, the heart muscle isn’t strong enough to pump as much blood as the body needs. Health care experts expect a dramatic increase in heart failure cases in the next 10 years, according to written material distributed by Lutheran.
An emerging trend in hospitals is to group heart failure patients together, Walz said. The practice allows staff to offer specialized care and educate patients and families about diet and lifestyle changes that can extend patients’ lives.
Parkview Regional Medical Center, which is scheduled to open to patients in the spring, will also cluster heart failure patients together, spokesman John Perlich said. Parkview Hospital on Randallia Drive has already adopted the practice, he said.
At a glance
Some significant dates in Lutheran Hospital’s cardiac care history include:
1967 – Lutheran opens the city’s first coronary care unit.
1985 – Surgeons at Lutheran perform the city’s first heart transplant.
2009 – The (Healthcare Accreditation Colloquium accredits) Lutheran as a Heart Failure Institute.
Source: Lutheran Health Network