New unit for surgical paitents will improve patient flow

March 22, 2005
A Surgical Stepdown Unit that will offer post-surgical patients a new level of care they can more readily share with family members will open April 4 on the 9th floor at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. The level of care required in the six-bed unit is between the Surgical/Trauma Intensive Care Unit and a general medical/surgical bed. Patients no longer needing the STICU may transfer to the new unit before finishing their recovery in a medical/surgical bed. One primary benefit is that the unit will create immediate capacity in the STICU, where bed space is often at a premium. But the Surgical Stepdown Unit will also benefit patients by allowing family members and friends more opportunity to visit them and be part of their care plan. Visitation is limited in the intensive care units. Physicians with post-surgical patients will likely also have patients on the medical/surgical portion of the 9th floor, which will increase their efficiency in patient rounding. Physicians sought and supported the new unit.Joint Camp becomes a 5th-grade science lessonJoint Camp, the program at Cape Fear Hospital that helps orthopedic surgical patients recover together, became a classroom earlier this month when 5th-grade students were invited to visit New Hanover County Schools Superintendent John Morris after his hip replacement surgery. With a recovering Dr. Morris looking on, the students learned about the surgery and its recovery process in an interactive lesson led by Joanne Crowley, Orthopedic Program Director. Joint Camp recently celebrated its 1000th visitor. New leadership to lead improvements in pharmacyBeginning in April, NHRMC will make some changes regarding management of the pharmacy. Cardinal Health, the company that currently supplies drugs to the hospital, has a division that assists in the management of pharmacies. This method has proven in the past to help control price increases, which continue to be a challenge for the medical center. New Hanover Regional has contracted with Cardinal Health for the next three years to provide a pharmacy director and a clinical director to the medical center. The director will oversee the business of the pharmacy and the clinical director will help with compliance, formulary, patient safety and other issues. The timing is opportune because Pharmacy Director George Willets has recently chosen to serve as the Director of Pharmacy for Pender Memorial Hospital. He will move into that role in April.'Miracle' babies chosen to serve as Azalea BellesWeighing between 1 and 2 1/2 pounds at birth 17 years ago Caitlin Pike and Ashley Noble were considered “miracle” babies at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Caitlin and Ashley were born two days apart and became lifelong friends after spending months side-by-side in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Since then, they have been featured several times by NHRMC in articles, commercials and on the Women’s and Children’s Services web page. Today, the healthy high school seniors have been selected to serve as Azalea Belles for the 52nd Annual 2005 Azalea Garden Tour sponsored by the Cape Fear Garden Club. Caitlin attends Topsail High School and Ashley attends Wilmington Christian Academy. Network notesCafe de France has generously offered Hospitality House the opportunity to receive 15 percent commission on sales generated on Thursday nights and Sunday brunches for the month of March. ... Quint Studer, President and CEO of the Studer Group, will be joining New Hanover Regional at its March leadership development training. He is founder of the patient-centered Service Excellence movement that is the basis of an ongoing culture change at NHRMC.