Adventist Medical Center opens new cardiac-care ‘Pavilion’

Come on along on a sneak preview tour we were given, and see how this new addition to a key outer East Portland hospital may save your life someday …

In Adventist Medical Center’s new Pavilion wing, Cheryl Dorman, Project Manager for the NICI Group, explains some of the features in one of four brand new cardiac catheterization labs to surgical nurse Holly Brown, RN, educational coordinator for preoperative services Carol LeCarno, RN, and Clark College student nurse Keiko Dieken, during our sneak-preview of their new Northwest Regional Cardiac Center.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
On May 19, the doors will officially open for the Adventist Medical Center’s (AMC) new Pavilion building. The fact that a not-for-profit hospital built a three-floor, 181,000 square-foot expansion is itself newsworthy. But, if you have a heart attack – it’s vital to know that this new cardiac center could save your life.

Even though they were putting the finishing touches on the new building, AMC’s director of marketing and communications, Judy Leach, took time to guide us through this major addition to outer East Portland’s own award-winning hospital.

Starting in the lobby, we noted a large wall of windows letting in natural light. “We’ve taken care to design every part of the Pavilion to give patients, and their family members, a setting conducive to whole-person care,” Leach said. “This is because here, at AMC, we believe in whole-person care: Mind, body, and spirit. We want patients to have hope and healing from the moment they enter the building.”

Instead of the traditional institutional look, we noted the lobby was decorated in earth tones with wood accents. Instead of bank-teller-style registration windows, Leach pointed out touch-screen computer kiosks that allow patients to easily check into the hospital on their own. Or, patients can sit with a check-in specialist who will take them through the check-in process.

Northwest Regional Cardiac Center opens
A major portion of the Pavilion building is dedicated to the hospital’s cardiac care area. “It’s called the Northwest Regional Cardiac Center,” Leach said. “AMC is rated in the top 7% of hospitals nationwide for the care of heart attack patients.”

The reason for the high marks, Leach said, is their ability to rapidly respond to a heart attack, and then appropriately care for the patient. “We are committed to moving forward, and providing the finest cardiac care available to people here in East Portland.”

The Northwest Regional Cardiac Center includes in-patient treatment areas, pre-operative rooms, four catheterization labs,and surgical suites, Leach pointed out. The building also provides space for out-patient services, and a complete cardiac rehabilitation exercise facility.

Here’s a view few will see while standing up! This state-of-the-art heli-pad permits Life-Flight helicopters to land three stories above AMC’s new Emergency Room.

Emergency Room expanded
To help provide better care for trauma patients who can be flown by air ambulance to the hospital, the Pavilion features a new heli-pad atop the building. “It’s designed for all-weather access,” Leach noted.

From the heli-pad, a patient’s gurney will be wheeled into an elevator and delivered to the Emergency Room staff in seconds.

The expanded Emergency Room had been doubled in size.

“We’re doubling the size of our emergency center,” Leach pointed out as the elevator doors opened. “We will be going to 32 beds.”

She also pointed out their new ambulance emergency entrance. “It’s fully enclosed; patients and medical personnel will be out of the weather. It will accommodate six ambulances.”

In addition, the hospital is also ramping up a Rapid Medical Evaluation Center. “It’s in urgent-care area in which patients can be seen quickly, generally within 10 or 15 minutes.” Those patients with sore throats, ear-aches, or a broken arm – they have their own x-ray facility – can be seen rapidly, she explained, leaving emergency room staff free to deal with more acute level patients.

Operating room specialist, Tim Cambridge, RN., stands among the racks of high-tech equipment used for modern medical procedures in one of AMC’s new operating rooms.

New operating rooms come fully equipped
The Pavilion also houses the hospital’s new operating rooms. “The old operating rooms were too small,” stated the operating room nurse who showed us around, Tim Cambridge, RN.

“They must be larger because new technologies require more space racks of new equipment,” Cambridge said. “The ‘electronic operating room’ allows surgeons see medical charts, see visual images, or display EKG and life-sign monitoring technical information on any of the many screens that surround the operating table.”

As staff physicians advanced into other specialties, such as open-heart and neurosurgery, they require even more technologies, he added.

Holding up a long tube, Cambridge pointed it was actually a high-resolution TV camera; the clear image it produced was on one of the many computer screens that surrounded the operating table.

“10 or 20 years ago, we used to do gallbladder surgeries for an example by making large incisions Cambridge explained. “Now, by using a camera like this, and other specialized equipment, it can be done laparoscopically; making three small holes about the size of a finger. The patient heals much more quickly”

Pavilion houses more clinics – and parking
Additionally, the Pavilion will house AMC’s radiation oncology [cancer] unit, Leach added as we wound down our tour. “We have a Wellness Services Center in this building.”

And, a welcome addition is a new multi-floor parking structure with a ramp that provides patients direct access to the oncology and cardiac centers.

In addition to the new technology wonders at AMC’s Pavilion, Leach concluded the she feels the project meets the aim of its design: “We want patients and family members to have an experience of hope and healing begin, the moment they enter the building.”

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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