If you were going on a trip for a week to Orlando, you wouldn't want to change hotel rooms 4 times during your stay. It would be incredibly inconvenient to keep packing and unpacking instead of getting comfortable in one room. The Avera Heart Hospital takes the same approach. When you are admitted as a patient, you will stay in the same room your entire stay. Equipment and specially trained nurses come to you.
Paul Heide from Spirit Lake, Iowa is recovering from open heart surgery. He had a triple bypass. When we met him he was on his 11th day as a patient at the Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls. He's not complaining either, considering the alternative.
Paul says, "Oh I feel great, just great. I'm glad to be here. I didn't want to come, but I'm glad I did. They've treated me so well here."
During his stay, he stayed in the same room which is unique. After his angiogram in the cath lab, he was transported back (per his bed) to the same room. The same applies to his open heart surgery. The Avera Heart Hospital is the only hospital in the state to use what's called "The Universal Care Model".
Paul says, "It's just wonderful because it always seems like you are back home again. It's great. Every time you wakeup you are in the same room. You are always in the same spot."
Registered Nurse Julie Meyer is the Assistant Director of the PCU (Patient Care Unit). She says, "In another hospital he would go into one unit, go for an angiogram, then go to a different unit. After bypass he would be in the ICU for a couple of days and switch again. That's at least 3 or 4 times he would have to move."
With Universal Care, if the patient needed a chest x-ray, the nurse would bring the mobile machine it to them instead of the patient going to a special room. It's really about convenience for the patient.
Meyer says, "If they need critical care we bring critical care nurse to patients. All of our nurses have special cardiovascular training so they can treat all kinds of patients. Critical care nurses have training above that."
Each room is set up the same too. They are all equipped to handle all the different equipment a patient may need. The real advantage comes down to this, Paul's family always knew exactly where to find him and when you are recovering from a life or death surgery, you need the nurses, monitors and your family by your side, at your bedside.
Paul was released from the Avera Heart Hospital on June 8th. He's back home in Spirit Lake and told us he is feeling good and doing well.