“Yesterday, SOMC did our 50th open heart surgery patient. This is a significant milestone for us. Our volumes (people taking advantage of the services) are so much higher than we had ever anticipated,” Amy Fraulini, director of Heart and Vascular Services for SOMC, said. “We did not plan on doing 50 hearts in the first six or seven months.”
Heart and Vascular Services opened Dec 1. Fraulini explained the service had its busiest week last week when they performed eight open-heart surgeries.
“I think we can attribute our high number to the great outcomes, the staff and the physicians. I think patients are hearing about the good things that are happening,” she said. “People are gaining the trust and confidence in this program, so they are coming here now instead of going out of town. We have worked with national consultants to build this program, and they have never seen anything like it.”
She explained the consultants have never seen a program grow as fast as the one at SOMC.
When asked what the next milestone for them to reach will be, Fraulini said 100 hearts and continued success.
“It does not matter the number we are producing or how fast we are growing. What really matters is that we have great outcomes — that’s what our success is,” she said.
One of the unique processes SOMC has introduced is the Universal Bed.
“This has proven to us to be a huge success. The staff have invested interest in the unit and in the patient. That has been a key to where we are today,” Paul Rase, nurse manager for the SOMC Heart Care Unit, said.
“The universal bed has been a wonderful thing. The patient gets to see the same staff, the same face over and over, and they feel comfortable with that. We are there from the time they come out of surgery until the time they go home. We’re rewarded to see the patient come out of surgery and doing laps in the hallway three days later,” Stacey Jenkins, R.N.,said.
Ann Cooper, nurse manager of the Cardiovascular Operating Room, is excited to see the department see such success. “We have far exceeded our expectations,” she said. “This service has never been offered to the people of this community before in that people want to stay close to home. To have this in their back door has been tremendous.”