The new facility draws on cutting-edge technology to promote an environment of care that lowers stress and anxiety.
By Melissa F. Pheterson
As seen in the September/October 2019 issue of Advancing Care
Innovations in healthcare can improve patient outcomes. By striking a certain ambience, they also enhance and optimize the patient experience.
As Westchester County’s largest healthcare construction project in a decade, the new Ambulatory Care Pavilion at Westchester Medical Center, the flagship of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), draws on cutting-edge technology to promote an environment of care that lowers stress and anxiety.
Most visibly, the space promotes healing through soothing, patient-controlled lights and music; spacious, light-filled common areas; and private dressing rooms. The Ambulatory Care Pavilion also promotes superior care through ergonomic operating rooms, first-of-its-kind equipment and seamless coordination of services.
At 260,000 square feet, this eight-story hub for outpatient procedures was designed with a focus on prevention, education and patient-centered care.
Here, we introduce you to some of the services in the new Ambulatory Care Pavilion.
WMCHealth Heart and Vascular Institute
“Our focus within the Ambulatory Care Pavilion is on improving the patient experience while expanding our services,” says Julio A. Panza, MD, Chief of Cardiology at WMCHealth. In addition to state-of-the-art clinical services, he points to the launch of a program for cardiovascular health promotion and disease prevention.
Ambulatory Care Pavilion
Heart and Vascular Institute . . . 866.962.4327
Advanced Imaging Center . . . . 914.493.2500
Surgery Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 914.493.7626
Pre-Procedure Testing . . . . . . . 914.493.8105
Gastroenterology . . . . . . . . . . . . 914.493.7337
Abdominal Transplant . . . . . . 914.493.1990
“We have always treated the sickest patients in the Hudson Valley, as a tertiary- and quaternary-care facility,” Dr. Panza says. “But now there is increased focus on primary prevention to reach out to Hudson Valley residents before they develop the disease.”
For cardiac imaging — which includes echocardiograms, stress testing and nuclear cardiology — Dr. Panza highlights a gamma camera that is state-of-the-art and unique in the Hudson Valley. “This camera has increased sensitivity to radiation, which results in reducing the radiation dose that patients receive.”
Two cardiac catheterization labs on the second floor, bringing Westchester Medical Center’s total to eight, feature the newest Philips healthcare technology. “This equipment is focused not only on obtaining optimal images of the heart but also improving the patient experience, with ambient lighting and soothing imagery,” says Dr. Panza. “For patients who receive treatment while awake, that’s very important.”
Advanced Imaging Center
Equipped with comforting light and a spectrum of colorful bulbs, the Philips imaging technology used in MRIs helps patients breathe easier in more ways than one. “First, it creates an immersive visual and auditory experience that has been shown to reduce anxiety,” says Zvi Lefkovitz, MD, Director of Radiology at WMCHealth. “Second, because patients are more comfortable and don’t move around as much, this technology also results in a 70 percent reduction in repeat studies related to motion artifacts.”
The Advanced Imaging Center in the new Ambulatory Care Pavilion features a stronger, 3.0T Tesla (3T) magnet for better spatial resolution, capturing the finest details of images for greater diagnostic accuracy. There is also a quenchless 1.5 Tesla (1.5T) MRI – the only one of its kind in the Northeast – that uses a minimal amount of helium to achieve its magnetic field, resulting in a smaller footprint and greater efficiency with less wait time for patients. In addition, there is a spectral-detector-based computed tomography (CT) device – one of the first in North America – that reduces radiation exposure and intravenous contrast dose and speeds test time, while enhancing image quality.
“This is a revolution in CT imaging in that it can differentiate structures by use of contrasting color,” says Dr. Lefkovitz. “This makes previously subtle details much more obvious. We can better make diagnoses on the spot, because we have images of the highest caliber.”
Vascular interventional radiology suites allow staff to perform minimally invasive procedures. “Our navigation software guides radiologists with 3D images, letting them get into areas of abnormality – even accessing tumors through tangles of vessels – to treat them faster and more accurately than ever before, and can cut 50-minute maneuvers down to 10 minutes,” he says.
In these suites, patients can select a color scheme and watch calming videos projected on the ceiling. “From the moment patients pick up the phone to make the appointment, we focus on their comfort level,” says Dr. Lefkovitz.
Ambulatory Surgery Center
The second floor of the Ambulatory Care Pavilion houses the new hub of Westchester Medical Center’s Ambulatory Surgery Program. In addition to the two cath labs and radiology labs, eight outpatient operating rooms expand Westchester Medical Center’s daily surgical capabilities.
“The operating rooms are ergonomically and functionally beautiful, with the latest technological advances for surgeons to provide the best possible care to our patients,” says Rifat Latifi, MD, Director of Surgery at Westchester Medical Center. He explains that they are designed to anticipate a surgical team’s needs, with opportunities for specialists across disciplines to consult and work together.
“The new Ambulatory Care Pavilion represents the most sophisticated evolution of the modern hospital: completely patient-centered, research-oriented and technology-driven,” says Dr. Latifi. “With its seamless workflow and ergonomically friendly workplace, this space unites the latest advances in technology with a strong partnership among clinical disciplines.”
In late summer, additional services were added to the new facility’s offerings, including gastroenterology services under the direction of Edward Lebovics, MD, Chief of Gastroenterology; transplant services led by Thomas Diflo, MD, Chief of Intra-Abdominal Organ Transplantation; and the anesthesiology program led by Peter Panzica, MD, Chief of Anesthesiology.
Visit us at Westchester Medical Center, a member of Westchester Medical Center Health Network, to learn more. Advancing Care. Here.
Photos by The Journal News\Part of the USA TODAY Network