UMC's Heart Center Opens for Business - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/3/05

UMC's Heart Center Opens for Business

There are only three flat imaging machines to scan the heart in the United States, and all three are right here in Lubbock. On Monday, UMC opened that new technology and its Heart Center to patients. So far, two patients have been through the cath-lab and are admitted on the newly opened sixth floor.

The new technology is making the hospital more convenient for patients and their families. When you walk off the elevator on the sixth floor, it feels more like walking through a five-star hotel lobby than a hospital. The ambiance is just one notable difference in the Heart Center. They also have new convertible beds, a new nurse paging system, and x-ray machines that came to Lubbock first in the nation.

"You feel like you're not at a hospital. The entire floor is made more patient-friendly." Ramiro Sanchez works in the nuclear medicine side of the Heart Center, and on opening day, most of the talk in his department was about the images printed on the ceiling. "They're already anxious, so we installed images that take them away."

Another first for UMC, two patients went through the first cath-labs in the country. The engineer of the machine, otherwise known as the Shimadzu, said, "It allows the staff to be more concerned with the patient and less concerned with the equipment."

But it's other areas of the heart where UMC is trying to make the patient and their family's stay more comfortable. Robyn Williams, a nurse said, "It's about increased technology, and also increased touch. We care about patient safety."

One way to a patients heart is through convenience. Technologies like a new nurse tracking system, and new convertible beds that sit, weigh and turn patients, are all helping put UMC on the map.

34 other hospitals around the country have made plans to tour the cath-labs in Lubbock to see if the technology would fit in their cities.

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