23-bed center is among the most technologically advanced in WNY
Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center on Thursday celebrated the opening of a new, $4.3 million Cardiac/Stroke Care Unit that officials said closes the loop on a complete continuum of care for patients with cardiovascular disease.
The 12,950-square-foot facility is on the hospital's third floor and features 23 private rooms, including six higher acuity step-down rooms, along with an in-unit physical and occupational therapy facility to encourage quicker patient recovery. It replaces an outdated, 40-year-old telemetry unit on the hospital's fourth floor.
"The opening of this inpatient unit a year after Memorial, Catholic Health, Kaleida Health and ECMC began operating the only cardiac cath lab in Niagara County on our campus completes the structural component of a heart care journey Memorial embarked upon a decade ago," said Memorial President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo. "From our ER1 emergency department to the Heart Center of Niagara to this high-tech, high-touch telemetry unit, to our new outpatient cardiovascular rehabilitation center - we can now provide the complete continuum of care required to combat the rampant high rates of cardiovascular disease across Niagara County."
The unit's rehabilitation component will feature leading-edge visual-motor and neuro-cognitive rehabilitation equipment that employs programmable, customizable testing and rehabilitation routines. Patients and their caregivers also will benefit from the unit's dedicated Patient-Family Resource Center.
"This will provide a comfortable space for members of our nursing staff to provide education on cardiovascular disease and instruct patients and their families on how to successfully transition from the hospital to home and community," Memorial Chief Operating Officer Sheila K. Kee said.
A Health Care Delivery System Innovators Fund grant financed $2 million of the project's cost. Foundation, governmental and individual charitable contributions, as well as direct hospital support, funded the balance.
Ruffolo noted high-quality patient care - the kind of care demonstrated daily by Memorial's nurses and other care providers - means a lot more than modern equipment and new facilities.
"A favorable patient experience and positive clinical outcomes are what really matter," he said. "Therefore, guided by our nursing leadership and with the full support of our partners at Niagara University, we are about to embark on another journey ... our 'Magnet' journey."
The Magnet Recognition Program was established in 1994 by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Magnet Status is the gold standard recognition for nursing practice nationally and is proven to have a dramatic impact on patient care outcomes, nursing recruitment and retention, and leadership development.
"Today we begin our three-year journey to 'Magnetizing' Memorial," Ruffolo said. "We are dedicated to creating and sustaining a nursing culture that promotes the highest levels of quality care and patient satisfaction and empowers nurses to flourish professionally."