Shapiro Brings Improvements to L2, Tower
The construction of the Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center and its planned opening in spring 2008 is presenting the hospital with the unique opportunity to reconfigure much of the patient Tower, as well as the hospital's lower levels that will connect under Francis Street. Dozens of physicians, nurses and administrative staff have been analyzing existing cardiovascular care with an eye towards collocating several service lines beneath the street level on L2.
L2 Designed to Improve Patient Experience
"We now deliver high-quality, patient-centered cardiovascular care from several independent sites within our main campus, and that can only be enhanced when we bring them together in one location in the cardiovascular service center with shared resources," Kate Walsh, BWH's chief operating officer, said.
Currently, a patient who needs services in Electrophysiology (EP) and Stress must travel to two floors. When Shapiro Center opens, patients easily can access services for EP and Stress on L2.
"Planning for this new facility gives us the opportunity to analyze our existing systems and identify potential improvements that will enable us to enhance services to our patients and their families," said Frederic Resnic, MD, MSc, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. "We will be able to send patients from our cardiovascular clinics to MR in the same day."
The patient experience has been and continues to be the driving force behind the planning for the Shapiro's clinical integration. Planning committees that include physicians, front-line nursing staff, technologists and administrators continue to analyze patient flow across departments, divisions and service lines in BWH's current structure. For example, in order to improve patient care and make the process as efficient as possible for clinical staff, teams are scrutinizing the patient experience of seeking and scheduling a procedure and the patient's pathway on procedure day from arrival to discharge.
"Our goal is to eliminate increments of time that are of no value to a patient," said Debra Rogers, who was named BWH's first-ever executive director of Cardiovascular Services in May. "This lengthy and thorough process involves engaging everyone at BWH involved along the way, identifying and prioritizing challenges and developing and implementing plans for improvement."
With cardiovascular service lines, including outpatient clinics and inpatient family rooms, in one facility, the Shapiro Center affords significant opportunities to improve and streamline the patient and family experience.
Tower Improvements Coming
The same commitment to improving the patient experience also drives the planning to reconfigure the Tower, BWH's first facility to welcome patients in 1980. The cardiac inpatient units on Tower 8 and 12 and some 10AB beds will transition to the Shapiro Center. This will enable BWH to increase the number of private beds and semi-private beds in the Tower in coming years, as the Tower backfill stacking plan is implemented.
"Our plan to backfill the Tower will evolve over time as we look to meet the growing demand for our inpatient services while leveraging our ability to group service lines together," said Mairead Hickey, PhD, RN, chief nursing officer and senior vice president of Patient Care Services.
Where possible, the revamped Tower will feature a regionalization of service lines, such as placing Medicine units or Surgery units in close proximity to each other. "Grouping all our service lines together will help us improve interdisciplinary communication among care providers," Hickey said.
This regionalization will enhance BWH's ability to provide care, coverage and rounding because service line patients will be clustered close together. Additionally, support space for supplies and conferencing that will aid education and training will be addressed.
And as BWH's commitment to better serving patients and their families is the cornerstone of all planning for Shapiro, that same commitment is driving the refurbishing plans for the Tower, said Chief Operating Officer Kate Walsh. "We're not simply building a new building across the street. We're improving all of BWH," Walsh said.