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The heart of the matter: GPH gets new cardiac catheterization lab with state-of-the-art equipment

By JOB VIGIL jvigil@nptelegraph.comMay 24, 2019

Great Plains Health has taken another step in a multifaceted project to improve its cardiology services.

The hospital has opened its new cardiac catheterization lab that is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including the Siemens Artis Q Interventional Angiography System, and will then reconstruct the current cath lab and upgrade its equipment.

A cardiac catheterization is a procedure where a long, flexible tube, or catheter, is inserted into a blood vessel in a patient’s arm, upper thigh or neck, and then threaded to the heart, according to the National Institutes of Health. It is used to examine heart valves, take samples of blood or heart muscle and detect blockages in arteries.

“The new technology will help improve access and timeliness for the patients,” said hospital CEO Mel McNea. “Right now our current cath lab is subjected to long hours due to the high volume of patients we are treating.”

McNea said an additional lab will help reduce wait times.

“It will also improve the work environment for our providers and employees, giving them a higher satisfaction in their work day,” McNea said.

Donelle Kimberling, cath lab supervisor, briefly described the new equipment.

A very large monitor screen offers a plethora of configurations for use by the medical staff.

“Our screen monitor can display multiple modalities so the doctor can see live images, old images, vital signs,” Kimberling said. “If we have to use the ultrasound machine, it can be displayed. We can reconfigure all of that (as needed) on the screen monitor.”

She said the new system is top of the line, but the hospital will continue to use the current lab for a couple of weeks.

“We’ll use this (new cath lab) and make sure we’re comfortable and then we’ll uninstall the old lab on June 3,” Kimberling said.

The new lab is also set up to do pacemaker installs. Kimberling said the nurses and cath lab staff are experienced.

“You have to know your stuff,” Kimberling said. “I’ve been in cardiology for 15 years. We work in an area where most people don’t come to the cath lab with cath lab (specific) experience.”

Kimberling has less experienced staff start slowly.

“We start them out with the simple stuff and then add to it when they get comfortable with everything,” Kimberling said.

For more information, contact the GPH Heart and Vascular Center at 308-568-8577.

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