Expanding Cardiac Care Services at Banner Heart Hospital

Lindsay Butler Carrillo Public Relations Specialist Banner Heart Hospital
Lindsay Butler Carrillo Public Relations Specialist Banner Heart Hospital
Banner Heart Hospital recently underwent a $30 million expansion, the fifth in their 10-year history. Read more about their new facilities here. In this latest expansion, Banner Heart Hospital brought its procedural capacity to two EP labs, five catheterization labs, two endovascular suites and four open heart rooms, including one multipurpose operating room for peripheral arterial work. The expansion also included an extended patient recovery area, and a pre- and post-procedural area for outpatients. But beyond the brick and mortar, Banner Heart Hospital has also grown in scope as a center for comprehensive cardiac care. Named a Thomson-Reuters Top 100 facility, it is Banner Heart Hospital’s vision to become the preeminent cardiovascular center in the region. Patient Care Located in the East Valley region of metro Phoenix, Banner Heart Hospital attracts patients from Arizona, the Southwest and beyond. While Banner Heart Hospital has always garnered enviable patient satisfaction, the recently opened expansion has brought a higher level of efficiency and service to patients undergoing outpatient procedures. For example, the expansion added 22 private patient rooms that are directly linked to the cath labs, EP labs and surgery suites. This new area allows for more efficient patient flow before and after procedures, as well as better access and service to patients’ families. Physician Satisfaction The new addition to Banner Heart Hospital will allow for more capacity for scheduling surgeries and/or cardiac catheterizations during prime time hours. Banner Heart Hospital currently does 2,400 cardiac and vascular surgeries and 6,000 cardiac catheterizations. Surgeons and cardiologists will have greater access to scheduling procedural times. Banner Heart Hospital has a collaborative relationship with its medical and surgical physicians because of a highly trained staff and a care model that supports quick access for cardiac and vascular services. In the past few years, Banner Heart Hospital has also established relationships with the outlying rural communities of Globe and Payson, in addition to securing better ties with Tucson, to accommodate cardiac transfers and referrals from those locations for specialty cardiac services. EP Labs Each of the newly built 740-square-foot electrophysiology labs at Banner Heart Hospital contains new technology, including St. Jude Medical’s EnSite Velocity Mapping System and Biosense Webster’s Carto 3D Mapping System to treat heart arrhythmias. Previous ablation procedures had required our cardiologists to direct the catheter inside the heart and use X-rays as a guide to find and destroy abnormal electrical pathways. Banner Heart Hospital cardiologist Rodrigo Chan, MD said previous ablations could take up to 12 hours, which increased the risk of complications to the patient. It also made it very difficult to know exactly where in the heart the catheter was pointing. In addition to the new 3D technologies, Banner Heart Hospital has recently added Hansen Medical’s Sensei® Robotic Catheter System to its arsenal of technology, an enhancement of the heart hospital’s already successful cardiac robotics program. Banner Heart is the first facility in its primary service area to tout the system, which decreases variability in procedure time, reduces radiation exposure for both clinician and patient, and improves the physician’s ability to navigate complex anatomy via its “instinctive” software. Other Services Along with an expanded procedural space, Banner Heart Hospital is extending its reach into the community. This year, Banner Heart launched the Women’s Heart Center, a program devoted to educating the community about women’s heart disease and promoting early treatment and prevention. Banner Heart Hospital experts have been reaching out to community groups to provide medical education and assess risk for women there by using a questionnaire. Women who show high to medium risk for heart disease are invited to visit one of many participating cardiologists who offer priority scheduling for appointments. The Women’s Heart Center is led by Iva Smolens, MD, who is assisted by a team of eight other cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons who sit on the advisory board and offer medical expertise to the program. The Women’s Heart Center currently exists in a virtual space. However, Banner Heart hopes to garner enough support to build a physical center where women can receive diagnostic testing, see their cardiologist, research heart disease in a library and even get a pedicure. Banner Heart Hospital also has the distinction of being certified as a cardiac arrest center by the Arizona Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma System. The certification means the hospital meets state standards in caring for patients who have suffered cardiac arrest. The state guidelines are based on a standard of care set forth by the American Heart Association, but are actually rarely used in U.S. hospitals. The standard calls for use of a unique therapy: hypothermia. In cases where cardiac arrest patients remain comatose after the initial resuscitation and restoration of a pulse and blood pressure, Cardiac Arrest Centers are now encouraged to lower the patient’s body temperature using ice packs or other methods for the first few hours. Results have shown that the hypothermia treatment preserves neurological function during the time that cardiac arrest patients are comatose. The cold treatment is followed by a natural warming, where the body brings itself back to a normal temperature. In the 17 patients treated through the integrated program involving EMS, the ED, the cardiologists and cath labs, and the CVICU, the survival to discharge for Banner Heart was 83.3 percent and the survival to discharge to home with intact neurologic status was 60 percent. Emergency medical service agencies are encouraged by the state to transport patients to certified centers to take advantage of these kinds of results. The designation is part of a larger effort by the Arizona Cardiac Arrest Center Consortium to standardize care for cardiac patients in hospitals. While Banner Heart Hospital is one of many Arizona facilities to participate in the cardiac arrest effort, it is only one of seven in the nation to be named an Accredited Heart Failure Institute. Banner Heart Hospital works collaboratively with physician offices and outpatient community services to provide new education processes to empower patients and improve transition into the community, providing the best care while in the hospital and after discharge. Our patients receive intensive follow-up care that allows them to stay at home and prevent future re-admissions to the hospital. Finally, the Heart Hospital and collaboration with their EP physicians are focused on developing an integrated Heart Rhythm Center to take advantage of their new facilities, provide comprehensive services through a device center and an ablation center, and better serve the community. The advanced management of atrial fibrillation will be the focus using the new technologies and robotic approach. The prevalence of this rhythm disorder in the community, the expertise of the EP physicians, the technology, and the referral patterns of these patients to Banner Heart, make this the opportunity to expand the reach of the program into the Southwest and beyond.