February of 2010 was celebrated for a major event at Oak Hill Hospital as the final beam was raised into place marking a key phase of construction of the $6.5 million expansion for the hospital's Heart Institute.
The sixth-floor expansion will allow the hospital to grow its services offered to the community and bring the latest technology in cardiac care.
Now in the final phase of construction, they announced the project should be completed by late March or early April.
This month, Oak Hill Hospital announced the expansion project is in its final phase and is on schedule along with approvals by the government regulatory bodies.
The telemetry unit will add 20 rooms which are located adjacent to the 10-bed cardiovascular intensive care unit for a total bed capacity to 234, allowing for the Heart Institute to be fully integrated single floor unit in cardiovascular care.
Samantha Wood, vice president of cardiovascular services, describes Oak Hill's mission is to provide excellence in health care and patient services as this is apparent in their Heart Institute expansion of the sixth floor.
"This additional space assists us in implementing evidence-based cardiac care to the citizens of Hernando, Citrus and Pasco counties," she added.
Each of the rooms contains state-of-the-art features for cardiac care. This includes wall-mounted computers for quick access for physicians, nurses, dietitians, and technicians who can access every piece of information about the patient right at the patient's bedside.
Every room has its own scanner to scan bar codes and ensure the correct medication is always given to the right patient, at the right time, in the right dose, and with the right route.
Also, the cardiac telemetry rooms have a 12-lead EKG (electrocardiogram) monitor to keep track of patient's heart rhythms, and the data can be continuously transmitted to centrally located monitors, permitting quick response times by staff.
Attending nurses can pull a report every 30 seconds and send it to the patient's physician with a simple e-mail. Physician evaluations of a patient's cardiac trends over extended periods help determine treatment options.
"We have dash monitors available to the caregivers. These monitors talk to the computer Meditech system and relay the patient's vital signs and other information," Wood said.
"The patient's physician can access patient records as they are being updated and learn the patient's condition, in real time, from anywhere that the physician has wireless access."
The computer features a "tap and go" system, Wood added. The caregiver can walk up and touch their badge to the computer and the computer identifies the caregiver.
"Besides the technology, there are other amenities added to the unit," said Wood, "Our cardiovascular step-down unit offers all private rooms with showers in the bathrooms and each room has a flat screen TV with a visitor's chair and a recliner."
The visitor's lounge offers a 50-inch screen TV and a view of all of Hernando County, as this is considered the highest point in the area, Wood added.
Oak Hill is the only hospital in Hernando County to offer open-heart surgery. They are recognized as an Accredited Chest Pain Center (CPC) with PCI (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention) by the Society of Chest Pain Centers, www.scpcp.org. The hospital was the first chest pain program with PCI in Hernando and Citrus counties certified by the SCPC, a nonprofit international organization dedicated to the belief that heart disease can be eliminated as the number one cause of death worldwide. They also recently earned distinction as a Heart Failure Center by the same organization.
Since opening the Heart Institute in February 2006, Oak Hill Hospital recently reported that it has completed more than 700 open heart surgeries and more than 30,000 total procedures in their catheterization lab.
The expansion project added 3,000 square feet plus renovation of an existing 7,990-square-foot area on the sixth floor for a total of 27,000 square feet dedicated to the Heart Institute.
Institute services include a chest pain and heart failure programs, cardiac catheterization lab for diagnostic testing, open heart surgery performed in two surgical suites, and supplemented by both a CV (cardiovascular) recovery and CV intensive care unit, and valve treatment.
The chest pain center promotes heart attack awareness through educational materials, videos, seminars and a "Healthy Hearts" support group. More information is available by calling 352-597-6333 in Hernando County or 352-628-6060 in Citrus County.
Oak Hill welcomes public inquiries about their services. Information can be found on its website.