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  • Writer's pictureTom Petersen

Indoor Air Quality Assessment - Frankford Invests $20M in Heart Care

EES provided indoor air quality consulting services in support of multiple renovation projects at Frankford Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. This support included the following: Site Assessments: Prior to renovating, EES conducted an indoor air quality (IAQ) assessment. The assessment included the collection of biological and particulate samples to establish baseline risk criteria. These were then incorporated into the infection control risk assessment (ICRA) and worksite monitoring plan.

Worksite Monitoring: Performed weekly monitoring of the work-site to ensure the construction workers were protected and the hospital environment was maintained. This included completion of an inspection sheet, developed by EES, that assessed on-going work practices and procedures, work-site containment structures, and execution of a sampling plan developed during the site assessment.

Project Clearance: After construction was complete, EES conducted a survey and collected samples to assess the clean-up by the construction contractor.

One of the renovation projects was for the new $20 million heart center. See article below from the Philadelphia Business Journal for more details.

Our satisfied customer for this project was Lee Steiger, Director of Project Management, Facility Design and Construction for Frankford. Lee can be reached at 215-612-4856 if you have questions.

Frankford Invests $20M in Heart Care

Frankford Hospitals unveiled its new $20 million heart center this week at its Torresdale campus in space previously occupied by the Northeast Philadelphia medical center’s obstetrics department.

This photo shows Dr. Randy Metcalf, chief of cardiothoracic surgery, in the surgical suite of the new cardiac wing.

President and CEO Roy Powell is hopeful the 30,000- square-foot center and its modern amenities will help the health system attract and retain interventional cardiologists.

“The problem we have had [growing the program] is not so much competition from the hospitals downtown, it’s been getting enough cardiologists,” Powell said. “That’s the real issue.”

Frankford has about 30 cardiologists in its medical staff from four of five area medical practices but ideally would like that number to be around 40.

Powell said area practices have had a tough time recruiting cardiologists because of high medical malpractice costs along with an unfavorable reimbursement climate for physicians in the specialty.

Frankford first started performing open-heart surgery after Pennsylvania’s certificate-of-need program, which regulated the services hospitals could provide, was abolished at the end of 1996.

In fiscal 2007, which ended June 30, the Torresdale campus handled 250 coronary artery bypass surgeries and 2,900 interventional catheterization and electrophysiology procedures.

The hospital had performed 3,300 interventional catheterization and electrophysiology procedures, used to clear blocked arteries or fix abnormal heart rhythms, last year. The number dropped this year because of fewer interventional cardiologists on staff at the hospital and instances in which the hospital’s older catheterization lab was out of service for repairs.

It was malpractice insurance costs issues, along with the aging demographics of the community served by the Torresdale division, that led Frankford to decide two years ago to get out of the baby-delivery business and use that space to expand its heart program. During the past decade, 14 hospitals in the region have closed maternity wards.

Powell said the renovation project allowed the hospital to consolidate all its cardiac services – from diagnoses to treatment to recovery – in one area. “Patients won’t have to go from one side of the hospital to another for cardiac care,” he said. “A patient can come in to have a work-up. If it’s determined he needs immediate cardiac surgery, he only has to go about 15 feet” to an operating room.

Frankford funded the $20 million project through existing hospital operating revenue.

Overall, the new heart center features:

  • Three cardiac catheterization laboratories;

  • Two electrophysiology laboratories;

  • Two cardiothoracic operating rooms;

  • Seven private cardiac-care unit patients rooms, with sofa beds, drop-leaf tables and high-definition televisions;

  • Fourteen preoperative/recovery/holding beds; and

  • Live video feeds of surgical cases to conference rooms for training, education and family viewing.

Powell said the entire heart center was designed to promote infection control. Rooms are designed so all gas and power lines and other equipment are kept off the floor, making the rooms easier to clean and navigate.

Another attribute, Powell said, is the high-tech windows in the patient rooms.

The rooms have windows so nursing staff can monitor patients, Powell explained, but with the flip of a switch, the windows become opaque to provide privacy when appropriate.

Powell wasn’t aware of any other hospital unit in the city with such a feature.

Dr. Randy Metcalf, Frankford’s chief of cardiothoracic surgery, believes the heart center will expand the hospital’s reach into new communities.

“This heart center means we are entering a new era at the Torresdale campus where we can compete [with other hospitals] on a regional basis,” Metcalf said. “We hope to attract patients not just from the local area, but from the entire region.”

The article was written by Staff Writer John George of the Philadelphia Business Journal and was published in their November 30 – December 6, 2007 edition.

Number 45 part 2



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