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2006 Press Releases
New Morgan Heart Hospital Unveils Changes in Cardiac Care

Morton Plant Combines 30 Years of Firsts in Heart Surgery with New Approaches to Cardiac Patient Care

CLEARWATER, Fla., (October 31, 2006) -In its single largest expansion in its 90 year history, Morton Plant Hospital is opening the $52 million, 174,715 sq. ft. Morton Plant Mease Morgan Hospital to take cardiac care in the Tampa Bay area to the next level.

The Morgan Heart Hospital takes all the elements of Morton Plant’s nationally ranked heart program and brings them together into a cohesive, leading-edge facility that combines the hospital’s decades of commitment to patient care with today’s most advanced equipment and procedures for treatment of cardiac disease.

“We’ve taken our world-class heart program, added the best available technology and enhanced features for patient comfort to create heart care that takes all the needs of patients and their families into consideration. It truly is the whole package,” said Philip K. Beauchamp, president and chief executive officer of Morton Plant Mease Health Care.

In creating the new Morgan Heart Hospital, Morton Plant looked at every aspect of care from new technology, to new approaches to nursing care, to the patient experience before, during and after surgery. “All aspects of care have been designed to create more cohesive, integrated care,” said Beauchamp.

One of the most significant changes the Morgan Heart Hospital brings to Morton Plant is that all cardiac care services are centralized into one location. Surgical suites, recovery rooms, patient rooms, testing facilities and waiting rooms are all linked cohesively so that patients, nurses and physicians are within close proximity.

Leading Edge Operating Suites With integrated technology, the new operating suites in the Morgan Heart Hospital are completely digital providing the most advanced computerized systems available. Medical video equipment suspended from ceiling mounted suspension systems is hard-wired into the hospital’s computer systems. Physicians can control equipment with voice activation technology, view x-rays and other images of the patient on flat screens during surgery and even teleconference if necessary.

Universal Care

The Morgan Heart Hospital is also the first cardiac surgery program in the Tampa Bay area to initiate the concept of universal care. “Universal beds offer patient-centered care meaning that the care is moved around the patient. As patients recover, the care is stepped down or changed to meet their current condition while they remain in one room and one bed,” said Hal Ziecheck, chief operating officer, Morton Plant Hospital. “Typically, hospitals move patients to new rooms as their condition improves. Universal beds eliminate the need for that step,” noted Ziecheck. Each of the 21 private open-heart patient suites is a universal room meaning that for most patients, this is the only room they’ll be in during their hospital stay.

Morton Plant has been preparing for the universal bed approach in the Morgan Heart Hospital for years by cross training nurses and technicians in all phases of post-surgical cardiac care.

Technology Brings Clinical Team Closer to Patients

Morton Plant cardiac nurses have also been training for a de-centralized approach to post-surgical care. The central nurse’s station has been decreased in size allowing for computerized work stations just outside patient rooms. Nurses can closely monitor patients while updating charts and notes. “We using digital technology to bring nursing closer to the bedside,” said Ziecheck. Physicians will be using technology in the form of PDA’s and laptop computers, accessing reports and test results through secured connections.

Patient Comfort

Comfort and convenience was also a high priority in designing the Morgan Heart Hospital. Chairs that convert to beds, and small refrigerators in the private patient rooms along with a Wi-Fi connection to the Internet, are all ways the Morgan Heart Hospital is providing a family-centered approach to cardiac care.

Once patients have reached a certain level of recovery, they can order meals from a room service menu and participate in healing therapies such as music and guided imagery. Diamond shapes inlaid into the hardwood flooring every 10 feet become a “heart walk” where patients take their first steps.

Cardiac Intervention Procedures Interventional procedures such as cardiac catheterizations and or angioplasties are now performed in the Morgan Heart Hospital’s catheterization unit featuring four catheterization labs. With all services and equipment contained into one area of the hospital, patients will be prepared for their procedure right on the same floor.

Of the 18 patient beds on the unit, eight are private rooms designed for the comfort and convenience of both patients and family members. Patients returning home the same day of their procedure will recover in the unit. Patients admitted to the hospital are given a patient room on the same floor adjacent to the cardiac catheterization unit.

The Morgan Heart Hospital also provided the opportunity for the expansion of Morton Plant’s electrophysiology lab into two treatment rooms. Patients needing treatment for arrhythmias (irregular heart beats) may undergo such procedures as mapping and evaluation, and implantation of pacemakers or intra-cardiac ablation.

The Morgan Name

The Morton Plant Mease Morgan Heart Hospital at Morton Plant is named for the Morgan family, led by Larry Morgan, chairman of the Morgan Auto Group, who donated $5 million to help create a new standard of heart care in the community. “I spent part of my life learning, part of my life earning and now I am returning,” said Morgan regarding his contribution to the Heart Hospital. The Morgan Heart Hospital is expected to complete its opening by mid-November.

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility. Our commitment to improving the health of everyone we serve is reflected in our community partnerships and many honors. In 2006, Morton Plant Hospital received a top national recognition for its work in open heart surgery, the Premier Award for Quality in the area of Coronary Artery Bypass Graft. Since 1999 Morton Plant has been awarded 14 Top 100 Hospital designations in the areas of cardiovascular, stroke, orthopaedic and overall care by the Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success.

Morton Plant also has received the Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for Primary Stroke Care from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and has partnered with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa to provide research and services for cancer patients. In 2003, the hospital was awarded Magnet Designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the most prestigious national recognition of excellence in nursing care. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla., (727) 462-7000.

Contact: Beth Hardy (727) 298-6199 Phone, (727) 419-4471 Pager or Amy Morrow (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 468-7586 Pager