LIJ Medical Center Opens 30-Bed Cardiac Unit with Private Rooms

NEW HYDE PARK, NY – As part of LIJ Medical Center’s recent $300 million expansion, including a 10-story tower encompassing the Zuckerberg Pavilion and Katz Women’s Hospital, the hospital recently opened a new, state-of-the-art, 30-bed Cardiovascular and Thoracic Unit.  Focusing on patient and family-centered care, all the sleekly designed rooms are private and can comfortably accommodate loved ones at the bedside.

The 29,000 square-foot high-tech medical/surgical unit is dedicated to patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery, cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology procedures.  Located on the eighth floor in the Zuckerberg Pavilion, the Cardiovascular and Thoracic Unit is designed to provide the most clinically advanced levels of care, comfort and convenience to patients and their families.  Each room is equipped with telemetry technology, allowing patients’ vital signs to be monitored remotely, and bedside computers that give clinicians access to patients’ electronic medical records.

Each private room is equipped with a full bathroom and shower, a 42-inch flat-screen television, mini refrigerator, Internet access and desk.  The patient rooms also include a visiting area for loved ones with a pullout loveseat for overnight stays.   Borrowing designs from the hospitality industry, patient rooms and public areas have mahogany-look wood floors and nature-colored motifs and artwork to provide inpatient services in a warm, welcoming and non-institutional setting that is sensitive to patient needs and privacy.  Corridors are carpeted for a high-end look, but also help reduce noise on the floor. Extra large windows in each patient room and family lounges provide access to natural daylight and views.

The cardiac suite opened to rave reviews from patients and staff alike, but the new facility is built on the reputation of LIJ’s cardiac services. “LIJ has consistently excelled in performing angioplasty and cardiac surgery, and has achieved outstanding outcomes for both procedures in New York State,” said Barry Kaplan, MD, vice chair of cardiology for LIJ and North Shore University Hospital (NSUH).  According to a recent state Department of Health (DOH) report analyzing percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) from 2007-2009, LIJ was one of six hospitals statewide that had statistically superior outcomes for angioplasty – a procedure to clear blocked heart arteries.  In fact, since 2000, LIJ has received a double-star ranking for its extraordinarily low mortality rates for all cases in six of eight reports issued by DOH during that time period.  From an individual standpoint, Dr. Kaplan and two other cardiologists from NSUH (Donna Marchant, MD , and Loukas Boutis, MD) were among only four physicians in the state – out of more than 300 statewide who performed the procedure at 56 hospitals – who were outliers for superior outcomes, in all cases.   “Now, with the new cardiac unit, we are able to practice in a world-class facility and provide the best possible care to patients in a beautiful and healing environment,” Dr. Kaplan said.

While S. Jacob Scheinerman, MD, vice chair of cardiothoracic surgery at LIJ, also praised the design and the amenities of the new Cardiovascular and Thoracic Unit, he said that he and his team were “ecstatic” with results of a recent DOH report that analyzed outcomes for open heart surgery , which showed LIJ had superior outcomes.  Specifically, the latest state report on adult cardiac surgery (covering 2007-2009) showed that LIJ was one of only four hospitals in New York State – and the only one on Long Island – with risk-adjusted mortality rates that were significantly better than the statewide average for 676 patients undergoing surgeries to repair or replace heart valves and for those of surgeries for valve/coronary artery bypass graft surgery.  In addition to the hospital’s top rankings, Dr. Scheinerman and Robert Palazzo, MD, a heart surgeon at LIJ, and two NSUH heart surgeons (Alan Hartman, MD, and Robert Kalimi, MD) were among 13 out of 190 surgeons statewide to earn the DOH’s prestigious double-asterisk for their extraordinarily low mortality rates.

“LIJ’s performance in cardiac surgery is a great distinction and we are very proud of our outcomes,” said Dr. Scheinerman.  “Our success is due to our collaborative teamwork among skilled clinicians working together to ensure that patients and family members are cared for with excellence.”
In addition, the most recent DOH cardiac report showed that LIJ was the only hospital in New York State to have significantly better outcomes for cardiac surgery and percutaneous interventions.

The Cardiovascular and Thoracic Unit was designed by the healthcare architecture firm EwingCole in conjunction with North Shore-LIJ’s Department of Facilities Services. Decentralized nursing stations and closets for supplies are located adjacent to each patient room entrance throughout the unit, dedicating and increasing nursing time with each patient.  The design of the unit organizes support and staff functions into three physician/nursing collaboration zones with identical medicine, supply, and utility rooms to increase staff convenience and efficiency.  The core area includes administrative support space in addition to storage space and interdisciplinary team rooms.  A pharmacy is located on the floor to ensure timely and accurate delivery of medications.

The needs of special patient populations are addressed as well, with two dedicated isolation rooms with anterooms for patient observation and a bariatric room provided with overhead lifts for patient and staff safety.
As part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s  commitment to sustainable and environmentally responsible healthcare, the cardiac unit is  registered with the Green Building Certification Institute and has been designed to achieve a LEED Silver rating, the accepted industry benchmark for sustainable design, green building materials and energy efficiency.

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