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Family-centered ICU: humanizing high-tech medicine

The traditional intensive care patient room embodies the worst attributes of the healing environment: aesthetically sterile; the patient lying isolated in a nest of tubing, wiring, and blinking, beeping equipment; family and friends crowded into a common waiting room, visiting the patient one at a time, but always in danger of getting in the way of nurses and other staff caring for the patient.

 

The Medical Center of Central Georgia, Macon, is looking to change that image with the renovation of an old general 33-bed ward into a cutting edge, 14-bed ICU, complete with alcoves in each room designed specifically for the use of family and friends who may be visiting or staying with the patient.  The unit is also implementing an open-visitation policy, allowing two visitors in the room at a time and providing for overnight stays, using sleeper sofas in the family alcoves.

 

The challenges of repurposing a general ward built in the 1970s into a modern ICU are reviewed in brief and photographs capture the mix of centralized and decentralized administrative and support functions within the patient- and family-friendly space.

 

Source: Herring, Richard.  Family intensive: Medical Center of Georgia ICU enhances experience of family members.  Medical Construction & Design.  7(4):26-30, July/August 2011.  http://mcdmag.epubxpress.com/link/MCD/2011/jul-aug/1?s=0

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