Medical Intensive Care Unit will double in size and all units will feature high-tech care with enhanced patient comfort
The University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore will open the top three floors of its Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Building this spring, with units designed to meet an increased demand for critical care in the region and provide state-of-the-art post-surgical care that enhances patient recovery by addressing their unique needs.
A total of four new units will open, marking the completion of the seven-story Weinberg building, which first opened in phases in 2003.
The new units are:
Learn more about our new Medical Intensive Care Unit.
“The opening of these spacious new units represents a milestone in our plans to upgrade patient care facilities and expand our capacity to treat more critically ill patients,” says Jeffrey A. Rivest, President and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical Center.
“Our physicians, nurses and other staff played a major role in the design of the new units. All members of the health care team were involved in the planning and we appreciate their input to help us create the best possible environment for patient care,” adds Rivest.
All of the new units have the most advanced monitoring systems and ample work space for physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals. Patient rooms range from 250 to 350 square feet, making them larger than the national average for both academic and community hospitals.
“We created these new units to meet the needs and expectations of our patients for comfort and privacy while, at the same time, incorporating advanced technology in the rooms and at the nursing stations to ensure the best possible care,” says Katherine McCullough, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
“Careful thought went into the flow of patient and visitor traffic and the location of equipment and supplies in each unit. All of the patient rooms have comfortable seating for visitors and plenty of natural light from large windows,” adds McCullough.
The Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) is the largest nursing unit in the University of Maryland Medical Center. It supports nearly every other specialty area of the hospital. The new MICU will double the medical center’s capacity for this type of care, from 16 beds to 29. As patients recover and can move from intensive care to intermediate care, they will be able to stay in the same unit without needing to move.
Patient rooms in the new MICU are equipped with dual power columns instead of a headboard, allowing 360-degree access to patients. Decentralized nurse work stations equipped with computers and supplies are located between every two rooms. From there, nurses will have a clear view of each patient and will be only a few steps away from the bedside. This unit will have two physician teams and an attending critical care physician will be in the unit at all times, 24 hours a day.
Patients who need medical intensive care include those with advanced lung disease, cancer, kidney disease, multi-organ failure, infectious diseases and those awaiting organ transplants. Many patients are transferred to the University of Maryland Medical Center from community hospitals in the region because they need a higher level of care.
“This expansive new MICU will enable us to accommodate more patient referrals and help meet the growing need for intensive care in the region,” says Carl Shanholtz, M.D., medical director of the MICU. Dr. Shanholtz also is associate professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
One reason for the increased demand, according to Dr. Shanholtz, is the aging of the baby boomer generation. Older patients represent a majority of patients who need critical care.
Also, advances in medicine, as well as more complex surgical procedures, mean that people are able to survive longer in spite of serious chronic diseases. Yet when those patients encounter setbacks, they often need intensive care. With 240 critical care beds, the University of Maryland Medical Center is one of the largest providers of intensive care in the Mid-Atlantic region.
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