According to the American Heart Association, in the United States, a person dies every 34 seconds from heart disease and someone suffers a heart attack every 20 seconds.
Atlantic Health’s nationally renowned cardiac surgeons perform more than 1,100 adult cardiac surgeries a year with survival rates among the best in the country. Overlook Medical Center’s cardiovascular services are consistently ranked among the top five New Jersey hospitals for its treatment of patients with heart attacks.
Looking back, Overlook was the first hospital in the state to open a cardiac care unit in 1965 and, later, the first locally to perform emergency angioplasty for heart attacks. Today, the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute at Overlook and its staff of interventional cardiologists, emergency department physicians, specially trained nurses, paramedics and technicians provide the best care available when seconds count, as well as invasive and noninvasive diagnostic and rehabilitative services.
To meet the increasing demand for cardiac services and to ensure excellence in cardiac care delivery, Overlook is embarking on a series of renovations and upgrades that will enhance its ability to provide not only prompt, expert medical treatment, but also the best patient experience possible.
Phase I: $1.8 million
Renovations in the outpatient cardiology space will modernize the cardiac administrative and ultrasound areas, improving patient flow within the cardiac catheterization lab and its patient holding area. This medical suite will be configured for optimal facilitation of physician evaluations and necessary testing or procedures. In addition, a variety of programs and services will be available in this single centralized location, including such new offerings as a limb salvage program, women’s heart program and heart success program. A proposed syncope center will provide a comprehensive range of evaluation and diagnostic testing to help manage patients after a drop in blood pressure or other problem causes a loss of consciousness.
The space will also house a cardiac integrative medicine program for outpatients, which combines traditional medicine with complementary treatments such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, biofeedback, yoga and stress reduction techniques. This approach allows for the treatment of the whole person – body, mind and spirit – in an effort to exploit the connection between the brain and the immune system, emotions and disease.
The 47-bed cardiac telemetry unit is an older space that continues to provide our patients with outstanding nursing and medical care, though in a less than pleasing environment. Renovations will include upgrading the nursing station, improving way finding throughout the unit, replacing floors in patient rooms and corridors, and refurbishing family waiting areas.
Phase II: $3 million
Following completion of Phase I projects, Overlook plans to completely renovate the cardiac telemetry inpatient unit, the coronary care unit and the waiting areas associated with the cardiac catheterization lab.
Designed and built in the 1980s, the inpatient unit houses patient rooms that, by current standards, are undersized and incompatible with the more advanced care capabilities that have developed since then. Such cramped quarters make it difficult for our physicians and nurses to care for patients in the private, quiet manner that has been shown to significantly help with the healing process. Renovation plans call for both private and semiprivate patient rooms with upgraded baths, internet access and comfortable space for family and friends to visit.
The physical environment of the cardiac care unit will be upgraded to allow our physicians and nurses to more effectively deliver care to the hospital’s acutely ill cardiac patients. Already in place is cutting-edge technology and such lifesaving capabilities as ultra filtration, hypothermic protocols for heart attack patients, central veno-venous hemodialysis and elective angioplasty.