Doctors and staff celebrated the completion of a multi-million dollar construction project at CHI Franciscan Health – St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way last week, which will improve efficiency and quality of care for patients receiving treatment.
St. Francis began its phased, approximately $8 million project, which converted existing space into an expanded suite for patients receiving emergency and outpatient cardiac and interventional radiology care. The construction project included building a cardiac catheterization lab to treat patients who need emergency and urgent catheterization and stenting and a separate interventional radiology/vascular lab for patients needing biopsies, ports, drains, stents and other procedures. The suite also features a four-bay recovery room for patients to wait before or after outpatient services.
Peggy Coltrin, CHI Franciscan Health – St. Francis Hospital cath and interventional radiology lab clinical manager, said the hospital began planning for the project two to three years ago, and construction began 11 months ago.
“We did this whole phased approach so we could still take care of patients having a cardiac emergency during the whole project,” she said.
Every aspect of the expansion was carefully designed, and doctors and staff were involved in the designing of the two labs, which previously shared the same room, Coltrin said.
She said they conducted mock procedures, using boxes as stand-in equipment and furniture, to come up with labs designed for ease and efficiency that allowed staff to move freely and access everything they needed easily. Rather than having to go up the hall to retrieve supplies, a large supply room was built in between the cath and interventional radiology/vascular labs, with entry doors in each room.
In addition to extra space, the construction project also includes improved state-of-the-art technology that allows staff to perform minimally invasive procedures in the two labs.
“This will essentially double our capacity, and we have the demand,” said Dino Johnson, St. Francis Hospital chief operating and chief nursing officer.
The first patient was treated in the catheterization lab last week, and staff used the interventional radiology lab for the first time this week.
In a separate phase of the project, St. Francis also converted existing space into an outpatient cardiac rehabilitation office, equipped with 10 new treadmills, recumbent steppers, recumbent cycles, upper-body ergometers and resistive training equipment for patients recovering from a cardiac emergency. That project cost $455,000 to complete, including hiring additional staff.
The rehabilitation suite is new at St. Francis and allows patients to continue their healing and recovery from a cardiac event by receiving therapy and education in town.
Before, patients would either have to drive 11 miles to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma for rehabilitation services, or some would abandon their recovery efforts altogether.
“So this really helps the continuum for healing,” Coltrin said.
Carl Cohan, regional director of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery clinics and services for CHI Franciscan, said the rehabilitation suite is not only staffed with nurses and exercise physiologists who help recovering patients do monitored exercise, there are also rooms where people meet with staff to receive education about health and lifestyle changes needed to help them make a full recovery.
“If we are doing our jobs well, and our patients are learning, then their lives should be improved quality wise,” Cohan said.