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Hoag unveils new specialized cardiac suite

The state-of-the-art electrophysiology catheterization suite is the first of its kind

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: April 13, 2012 11:05 AM

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian this week introduced its newest advance patient care facility. Always at the forefront of medicine, Hoag’s new Allan and Sara Fainbarg Electrophysiology Cath Suite is the most efficient, high tech lab of its kind. Two years in the making, the new lab allows Hoag to offer complete cardiac catheterization services.

“This is a very exciting milestone for Hoag, and it really says a great deal about Hoag’s commitment to its patients and to their comfort and satisfaction,” said Dr. Jay Lee, Hoag’s medical director of electrophysiology. “It complements our mission to provide the most innovative and compassionate medical care of any hospital in Orange County.”

The electrophysiology (EP) cardiac catheterization lab is designed to offer the most efficient, technologically advanced operating environment for physicians possible. All of the suite’s EP technology systems are integrated into a single control pad interface that the physician can access easily and view on a 55-inch mounted monitor, in view of the patient.

“[O]ur designers spent many hours evaluating the hospital’s existing lab environment and discussing the clinical processes with Hoag staff who would be using the new space,” said Kelley Connolly, Philips Healthcare’s director of Ambient Experience Solutions. “A critical part of our efforts included a detailed systematic evaluation of the way people move and work to ensure clutter is minimized, supplies are accessible and stress is minimized for both patients and the medical team.”

The new suite will be used for many operations involved in the diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular ailments; the advanced nature of the lab and rooms allow it to be used for any heart catheterization process, with equipment and technology specialized for EP procedures.

A major aspect of the EP cath suite’s design focuses on patient comfort. Because the new suite will be used for a variety of uncomfortable procedures, many of them using only mild sedation, patients need a relaxed situation. The suite features an integrated Philips Ambient Experience, design elements that allow patients to customize their immediate environment to be more relaxing and enhance their comfort during procedures.

“In the EP cath suite, patients undergo very invasive procedures. The suite will create a relaxing environment through personal selection of music and lighting and ceiling displayed visuals, which will enhance the patient’s overall experience,” Dr. Lee said.

The Ambient Experience allows patients to choose visual images of natural scenes –– the beach, the mountains, or other settings –– to view displayed on the ceiling during their procedure. The images are accompanies by lights and sounds reminiscent of soothing environments to provide a positive distraction from what’s going on in the operating room.

“Because we carefully track all doses of anesthesia, we will be analyzing trends and ultimately determining if a more comforting, pleasant environment with positive distractions has a tangible impact on anesthesia requirements,” Dr. Lee said.

Another physician-friendly feature of the new suite is its Zero Gravity radiation system, the first of its kind on the west coast. Previously, whenever a procedure required the use of radiation, operating doctors and nurses were required to don 20-pound aprons to protect themselves from the effects of exposure. The new Zero Gravity system, manufactured by CFI Medical Solutions, mounts the radiation shield aprons and face covers on a mobile track, which is mounted on the ceiling. Dr. Lee acknowledged that this feature makes a big difference for doctors in the operating room.

“Not only does the Zero Gravity shield provide a higher level of protection, bet when you are standing for four to six hours, the suspended feature makes a big difference in terms of comfort [for] our physicians,” he said “Those heavy aprons can really make you sore.”

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