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From the Times Herald:
If you weren’t ailing, your private room in the new penthouse at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery might make you feel like you were on a vacation.Soothing sage-colored walls, total quietude and room service are just a few of the amenities to help the healing process on the just-completed fourth floor, which opened Monday.With 10 of the 24 beds already occupied this week, the Surgical Stepdown Unit can now easily accommodate patients who formerly might have spent all their time at Einstein in the Intensive Care Unit, due to lack of available rooms.“There were times in our first year of operation where we were at full capacity,” noted Beth Duffy, chief operating officer.The new unit was unveiled not quite a year and a half into the hospital’s opening on the site of the old Woody’s golf course, at 559 W. Germantown Pike, and allows patients to receive an important intermediate level of care, Duffy explained.“This is a level in between intensive care and general medical surgical care. Patients here are monitored but don’t have as high a nurse-to-patient ratio. We identified this as a gap — the need to provide that level of care. Open heart surgical patients, which is a program that continues to grow, were spending their entire hospital stay in the ICU. Now they’ll spend a day or two in ICU and then be transferred here and then discharged to home. It’s a better utilization of the space we have.”Four of the beds are specifically designated for post-cardiac bypass surgery patients in transition.Prior to its transformation, the floor was used for administrative offices. Those employees are now working in a modular building in back of the hospital or have been placed elsewhere in the hospital.The two dozen beds brings the grand total of beds to 170, said Duffy, who knew the need for the renovation was coming.“We always anticipated that this floor would become another patient care unit, but we figured it would be two or three years away. It happened much more quickly than we anticipated, thanks to the support of the community.”The new patient rooms are similar to those in the rest of the hospital, with a few minor tweaks in design, Duffy said.“We asked our staff, ‘what would you want us to do differently?’ I think it’s pretty amazing that there were just two things.”Thanks to the feedback, the 55 new staff members working the unit will be alerted by lights now connected to call bells outside of patient rooms, in addition to hearing them at the nurse’s station.“The staff said it was sometimes hard to visualize those call bells,” Duffy pointed out.The soffits common to pods on the other floors were eliminated as well, allowing a clear view of the entire floor.Patients in the South Side rooms can enjoy a view of Norristown Farm Park, while those on the North Side overlook the rear parking lot.In addition to the Surgical Stepdown Unit, hospital staff is basking in the compeltion of another much-need renovation: a seventh Labor/Delivery/Recovery room to better benefit obstetrical service patients.The need for the extra space is due to Einstein Montgomery’s phenomenal growth in that area, Duffy allowed.“In our first full year of operation we delivered over 2,100 babies, which is pretty amazing.”While many hospitals have shut down their obstetric programs, Einstein has experience more than a 50 percent increase in business, compared to the facility that spawned it, the old Montgomery Hospital in Norristown, Duffy added.“Five or six years ago there were 17 obstetric programs in Philadelphia and surrounding communities and that’s now down to six. We’re proud to be able to continue to offer those services. We see it as part of our mission and part of our commitment to the community. And because there are so few programs anymore, I think our ability to draw patients has been magnified. From Collegeville, Lansdale, and as far as Chestnut Hill, women are coming to us to deliver their babies.”The word on Twitter, Facebook and on patient satisfaction surveys puts Einstein Medical Center Montgomery ahead of the pack when it comes to happy patients, Duffy said.“The quality of the care is generally mentioned as well as the customer service, because the staff is very focused on the patient experience. And the nice environment is always mentioned. So we are thrilled to have been able to do this expansion,” Duffy added, “and I think it absolutely is coming because the community has supported us. I think it also shows that our original intent to build a medical destination in Central Montgomery County is coming true.”