Unit designed to improve patient experience, team-based approach to care
Located on the hospital’s fourth floor, directly above the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the PCU houses 18 private rooms and nursing alcoves that allow direct visual oversight of patient rooms through large glass windows. The care model decentralizes nursing stations to improve surveillance of each patient and enhances the care team’s communication with patient families, giving family members closer access to nursing staff.
“The nursing model used in the new PCU allows for improved monitoring of critically ill patients from the nurses’ station that extends around the entire unit,” said Glenna Barletta, nursing operations manager at Geisinger Community Medical Center. “Nursing alcoves are located outside each room to ensure the care team is always close by.”
Development of the PCU is part of a $16 million project that also begins the hospital’s approach to a private-bed model.
Designed to improve patient experience, quality of care and efficiency of operation, the unit’s spacious, state-of-the-art, private rooms meet the need to care for critically ill patients.
“We know the benefits of the private-room model on clinical quality and patient experience are well-studied and indisputable,” said Ujwal Tuladhar, M.D., hospitalist at Geisinger Community Medical Center. “They include reduced risk of hospital-acquired infection, reduced patient stress levels due to improved privacy and reduction of unwanted noise, and better facilitation of care. Private rooms cater to patient comfort, better rest and more room for caregivers and loved ones.”
The PCU’s private rooms are larger than the semi-private rooms of the previous step-down unit with enough space to accommodate critical care technology, allowing the care team to treat higher-acuity patients, such as ventilator patients who require medications that elevate blood pressure.
“The room size allows for more sophisticated equipment to fit into the space and provides our care team with greater ability to move around the patient to deliver care,” Barletta said. “This allows us to broaden the criteria of patients the unit can accept.”
The PCU has two waiting rooms — a quiet room and another with a television — and features multiple family meeting rooms, a wellness room with massage chairs, and two bariatric patient rooms with showers.
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at geisinger.org or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
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