MUSC Children’s Hospital is widely recognized as having one of the best pediatric heart programs in the country – one of the top 20, according to US News & Report.
No other center in South Carolina can provide the scope or depth of care for children with heart problems: Open-heart surgeries. Heart transplantation. Ventricular-assist device implantation. More than 8,500 echocardiograms and 600 catheterizations each year. And its success rates and clinical outcomes far outshine the national average.
So when it came time to plan the design of the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, the planning team was charged with an awesome responsibility: To preserve and strengthen this gem of a heart program.
Made up of doctors and nurses working side by side with patient families and architects, the team spent months planning a center that would meet not only the high expectations of the medical team, but also the needs of patients and families who, in many cases, would be afraid and fighting for their lives.
- The hospital will devote the entire third floor to children with heart problems. This will be the only comprehensive children’s heart center in South Carolina.
- The unit will feature up to 29 cardiac ICU and step-down beds. The unit is designed for maximum flexibility, so that some beds may be converted from one use to another as needed.
- All rooms will be private, with comfortable furniture and sleepers for visiting family, as well as shower facilities and other comfortable amenities.
- It will include three Child Life rooms, where children can relax and play while not undergoing treatment.
- The floor will include catheterization/electrophysiology suites and cardiac-specific operating suites. It also will allow for hybrid procedures, combining surgical and catheterization procedures simultaneously, for the advanced treatment of children born with congenital heart anomalies.
The most important enhancement might well go unnoticed by patients but will have a huge impact on their overall clinical experience: The centralization of inpatient services in a single location.
From the patient standpoint, this will mean less moving around from unit to unit. For the medical team, it means the ability to respond more quickly and efficiently to the patient’s changing conditions. It also will strengthen teamwork among caregivers, resulting in greater staff satisfaction, lower turnover and, ultimately, better care.
“Our outcomes are already among the best in the world,” said Dr. Eric Graham, interim director of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology. “This new hospital will make us even better.”