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Published on March 01, 2019

Avera McKennan Opens Enhanced Intensive Care Unit

With a focus on improvements in care as well as privacy, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center has opened a new and expanded Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the main hospital.

The ICU has added space for six additional patient beds for a total of 28 private rooms, and each room has doubled in size. From floor to ceiling, the innovative enhancements will advance patient intensive care services, equip caregivers with the best possible resources to help patients and also allow families more comfort and privacy while visiting loved ones.

“We’ve incorporated advanced technologies in every aspect of this unit,” said David Flicek, President and CEO of Avera McKennan. “Each room is equipped to handle the most complex and critical patient, with a design that is focused on patients, families and staff.”

The unit has a central control area that leads to four pods for patient care. Each of the 28 rooms was designed for patient-centered comfort and care, with plenty of space for caregivers and family. The unit also features a large family waiting area nearby.

The new ICU is part of $41 million in important updates to the Avera McKennan campus. The new ICU was created in space formerly occupied by inpatient rehab after a new rehab unit was opened on the fifth floor of the Prairie Center. Next, the hospital will turn its attention to creating expanded and enhanced surgery space in the space formerly occupied by the ICU.

Technological advancements in the ICU include:

  • Ceiling-mounted patient lifts in every room to ensure safety and convenience
  • Booms that house large monitors and patient care equipment plus all the associated cords and cables, keeping them up and out of the way of caregiving activities
  • Large state-of-the-art vital sign and cardiac monitors
  • New ICU beds that are more comfortable and technologically equipped
  • Dedicated water lines for each room to allow for acute dialysis if needed

In addition to being staffed by critical care specialists, the ICU has 24-hour support and backup through Avera eCARE® ICU – a telemedicine service that has proven to reduce length of stay in the ICU and improve outcomes over the past 15 years.

“We researched hundreds of ICU units around the nation and world, and brought the best practices we found to incorporate into our design. It feels great to bring this unit to life; it’s among the best of its kind,” said Anthony Hericks, DO, Avera Medical Group pulmonologist and critical care specialist. “What really makes the unit so noteworthy is the elite team that will care for its patients. The space and technology are great, but without these professionals and their talent and diligent compassion, this specialized care would be impossible.”

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