UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center Opens New Critical Care Unit
The unit's innovative space and technology aim to more efficiently coordinate care and support the community's current and future care needs
GLEN BURNIE, Md. (Dec. 6, 2022) – The University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center (UM BWMC) opened its new critical care unit with added advanced medical technology today, a renovation which aims to improve efficiency and meet growing community care needs.
"This new unit will help UM BWMC continue to fulfill our mission to provide high-quality care to individuals in our region," said Kathy McCollum, President and CEO of UM BWMC. "This innovative space and technology will better support our team in caring for our sickest patients, and reinforces UM BWMC's role as a regional resource for hospital-based critical care."
The hospital's newly renovated second floor space will house the critical care unit in its south tower. The new unit features 22 large, private patient rooms with space for family and loved ones, as well as a pharmacy on the unit. Two large resuscitation rooms contain all necessary medical equipment needed for an emergency. The resuscitation rooms were built with space for more than 10 providers to be in the room at the same time coordinating patient care.
Central to the unit's design is the state-of-the-art technology and command center. Each patient room is equipped with an advanced bedside monitor that continuously tracks and transmits patient data to the unit's command center. This centralized wall of computer monitors keeps track of each patient's information 24/7, so that every provider on the unit knows how each patient is doing at any given moment. Changes in a patient's vitals are shown in real-time and trigger the care team to take action, as necessary.
"This advanced technology is giving our care team instant information that can be used to quickly make life-saving decisions," said Jean Jauregui, DNP, CRNP, Director of Nursing for Critical Care and Intermediate Care at UM BWMC. "Instead of relying on old, point-in-time data, we are getting a real-time feed that alerts us when we need to act. This increases our team's efficiency and helps us provide timely, high-quality and safe care."
The advanced monitors and patient rooms also come with several data ports to connect additional devices. Care team members can add or remove different monitoring devices depending on a patient's specific needs. The set-up is also forward-looking to enable technology purchased in the future to connect and integrate seamlessly with the unit's existing equipment.
"We wanted to build something that would address the care needs of our community today, as well as their needs 10 years into the future," said Jason Heavner, MD, Vice President and Associate Chief Medical Officer at UM BWMC. "With this unit, we harnessed the power of advanced medical technology so that we can better predict, plan and support the critical care needs that our community will need and expect from us."
The new unit is seen as an important clinical resource for Anne Arundel County. Approximately 2,800 patients receive critical care from UM BWMC each year. According to UM BWMC's community health needs assessment, chronic conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and chronic lower respiratory disease are considered priority health care areas of focus for new care services. Patients with chronic conditions often need higher-acuity care services, such as critical care, during a hospital stay.
"We know that our community has some of the highest rates of cardiovascular disease, and smoking-related lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer, in Maryland – all chronic conditions that could lead someone to need critical care services should they come to the hospital," said Jeffrey Marshall, MD, Medical Director and Chair of Critical Care and Pulmonary Medicine at UM BWMC. "We built this new unit so that we could continue to provide leading-edge critical care to our diverse community and be able to meet their hospital-based care needs."
This new unit is one example of UM BWMC and the critical care team's continued commitment to providing excellent care and outcomes to patients in the region. In 2020, UM BWMC's critical care team received the prestigious Maryland Minogue Award for Patient Safety and Innovation for their excellence in clinical practice and outstanding patient outcomes in the early recognition of organ failure, early intervention for critical illness, and timely delivery of care. Earlier this year, UM BWMC was awarded an "A" safety grade from the Leapfrog Group, and U.S. News & World Report rated UM BWMC as "high performing" for care provided in COPD, colon cancer surgery, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, lung cancer surgery and stroke.
The UM BWMC critical care unit is staffed by a team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and advanced practice providers who specialize in critical care medicine as well as conditions of the lung, kidney and respiratory areas. The team coordinates care with many specialists across the hospital, including cancer, neurology and neurosurgery, vascular, cardiovascular, general surgery, physical therapy and respiratory therapy.
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About the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center
The University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center (UM BWMC) is an acute-care facility that is part of the University of Maryland Medical System. It is located in Glen Burnie, Maryland and has 314 beds and more than 3,100 team members. It also has 1,200 medical providers on staff in over 50 specialties. For more information, visit www.umbwmc.org.
About the University of Maryland Medical System
The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) is an academic private health system, focused on delivering compassionate, high quality care and putting discovery and innovation into practice at the bedside. Partnering with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and University of Maryland, Baltimore who educate the state's future health care professionals, UMMS is an integrated network of care, delivering 25 percent of all hospital care in urban, suburban and rural communities across the state of Maryland. UMMS puts academic medicine within reach through primary and specialty care delivered at 11 hospitals, including the flagship University of Maryland Medical Center, the System's anchor institution in downtown Baltimore, as well as through a network of 10 University of Maryland Urgent Care centers and more than 150 other locations in 13 counties. For more information, visit www.umms.org.