New state-of-the-art hospital opens

New state-of-the-art hospital opens

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Loma Linda University Heart and Surgical Hospital opens today offering five patient procedures, with goals to deliver a new type of patient experience with state-of-the-art technology and compassion.

'Our goal is to personalize, humanize and demystify the patient experience,'
said Jesse Mock, the hospital's administrator on Tuesday during a
grand-opening event.

The $110 million 28-bed, two-level facility, located at 26780 Barton Road in
Loma Linda, pioneers new hiring procedures and integrates a
patient-experience improvement program in an unprecedented manner within the
Loma Linda University health-care system.

It will focus on inpatient and outpatient services in a few select areas,
harnessing the latest in robotic surgery technology into operating room
quarters that were 'designed by surgeons for surgeons,' said Dr. Subhas
Gupta, chief of surgery at Loma Linda University Medical Center.

A second robotic surgery device will soon be moved over from the main
hospital to further strengthen the new hospital's role in minimally invasive

The heart and surgical hospital 'will teach and show this next generation
what care is going to look like in the 21st century,' said Dr. H. Rodger
Hadley, dean of Loma Linda University School of Medicine and executive vice
president for medical affairs at the Loma Linda University Adventist Health
Sciences Center.

Hadley said that the new facility will integrate specialties of vascular medicine, cardiology and radiology in an unprecedented manner.

The heart and surgical hospital will focus on procedures with most patient
stays lasting between two hours and three days.

From the warm hues painted throughout the building to the private rooms with
their own balconies, Loma Linda University Heart and Surgical Hospital
stands out as a different approach to a hospital.

Mock frequently says 'patients will be able to enjoy services and amenities
similar to a five-star hotel.'

Here's a scenario that begins to tell the tale:

It's 2:30 p.m., and you (as a patient) feel like lunch, you can order either
via the phone in the room or the interactive flat screen TV in the room.

Either way, the meal, prepared under the watchful eye of a registered
dietician, will arrive 'with the hot items hot and the cold items cold,'
said Mock, in an interview prior to Tuesday's grand-opening celebration.

Sound like room service at a hotel?

In the future, patients will be able to watch an educational film that has
been customized to explain their specific condition, treatment and recovery
plan, Mock said.

Meanwhile, there's free Wi-Fi Internet access and the chairs in the room
fold out into a bed, making family members more comfortable for lengthy

During a tour, the efforts to deinstitutionalize the building become
apparent. The interior paint is cheerful, the feel airy, unconfined.

'The facility was designed not to have that hospital look,' he said.

There are many open areas for staff and family members, natural light flows
through the hallways at many points in the 66,000-square-foot facility's
main floor.

The facility will focus on five key adult service lines, Mock said.

These are:

Cardiac diagnostic services

Minimally invasive robotic laparoscopic surgery

Women's surgical procedures

Ear, nose and throat procedures

Urology for both men and women

'We won't open with heart surgery. We will be building up slowly to it,'
Mock said.

Hadley noted that although heart surgery is in the hospital's future,
complicated heart surgery cases will continue to be conducted at the main
campus, 11234 Anderson St.

In hiring the hospital's staff of 125, Mock said, administrators used a tool
fairly new to the Loma Linda system to 'help us identify alignment between
the candidate's values and the organization's values that will ripple into
how we interact with each other and our patients.

'In job-candidate interviews, questions were shaped to allow the candidate
to indicate who they are from a values perspective.'

The Loma Linda University health-care system has focused on five main
values, Mock said.

They are:






'We look for candidates who have alignment with those values. When employees
come to the Loma Linda system already aligned with those values, when you do
training and education, you can enhance what is already there as opposed to
trying to pour it in for the first time,' Mock added.

The building's lower level is where procedures take place.

The facility adds six operating rooms to Loma Linda's existing portfolio of

Dr. Ahmed M. Abou-Zamzam Jr., a vascular surgeon who will operate at the new
facility, praised the size of the operating rooms, their layouts, the
technological support and the highly adjustable lighting.

Screens that display X-ray, MRI or other images of the patient are placed on
booms, as are the lights.

'The floor area is uncluttered allowing tremendous movement for the surgical
team,' Abou-Zamzam said.

As day surgeries will be a significant part of the new hospital's business,
there are 20 private patient rooms that are virtually soundproof.

They have four walls, a heavy door and windows made of double-pane glass.

'In many hospitals, including our main campus, these stations would just
have a curtain between each. This is a much more patient-friendly

Conversations between the doctor and patient or between the patient and
family members could occur 'and you don't feel like 80 people are listening
in,' Mock said.

The heart and surgical hospital sits on 24 acres offering ample
opportunities for expansion.

'We would anticipate (adding) a medical office building in the next three to
five years,' Mock said.