Avera Medical Minute: New, expanded intensive care unit provides new amenities

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - Avera McKennan Hospital has a new intensive care unit, and patients just moved in this week.

The main focus for this new ICU is state of the art equipment and more space in each patients' room.

"We're so excited to have such a beautiful room and spacious room," Amy Boyd, Avera ICU nurse manager, said.

She says the new rooms will help provide safety and comfort to everyone, especially patients.

"When our patients are incredibly sick most often times they have multiple pieces of equipment that are supporting whatever their needs might be," she said. "And then to try to get them up, to reposition them, to do what we need to do can be very challenging in a cramped space. The new space will allow us a lot of flexibility in order to care for those sicker patients. But, then it also allows us the ability also to have their family members closer."

The rooms are twice as big as the old ones. Avera also added new amenities like ceiling-mounted patient lifts, new monitors, and a Stryker boom. This is mounted on the ceiling and holds equipment to keep cords out of the way.

"What's most important here is the amenities for patients and their families," Dr. Anthony Hericks, Avera director of critical care, said. "And actually for the nurses, the nurses spend 12 hours at the bedside, and they're the ones that are going to benefit from this the most."

The number of rooms increased, as well. Dr. Hericks says these changes are essential as Avera continues to expand. The changes will not only improve patient care but workflow, as well.

"As Avera's footprint continues to grow in this region and we're accepting more and more patients from outside facilities," he said. "We went from a 22 bed ICU to a 28 bed ICU which will allow us to take care of more patients in the region. So, it won't only be a benefit for the city of Sioux Falls, but also the region."

The new ICU is part of the $41 million upgrade project for the Avera McKennan Campus.

The old ICU will be transformed into expanded surgery space.

For more information, you can visit avera.org.