Expansion, new technology and offering patients streamlined preventative care closer to home are among the themes that will carry Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville through the next two decades.
The growing full-service hospital, which recently celebrated its fifth anniversary, currently has 60 beds and more than 640 employees.
Aside from hiring a new president, the hospital recently opened a $4.7 million endovascular suite and a $6.4 million Same-day Surgery Center.
Another notable addition is the da Vinci Si High Definition Surgical System, a robotic device that allows physicians and surgeons greater precision when performing procedures like hysterectomies and prostatectomies.
Never miss a local story.
Meet the president
Tanya Blackmon was promoted to president of Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville in July. She began her career with Presbyterian Hospital in 1992 and most recently served as chief operating officer of Charlotte's Presbyterian Orthopaedic Hospital.
"As the medical needs of our community grow and change, Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville will adapt to meet those needs," Blackmon said.
"We feel we have advanced technology paired with compassionate, excellent employees and physicians which positions us to continue to be the community hospital for Huntersville and surrounding communities." Preventative care
In the endovascular suite, services will encompass the diagnosis and treatment of peripheral vascular disease or peripheral artery disease, both which cause arteries to become obstructed.
Many people in the Huntersville area have the disease and the hospital expects to treat about 400 patients during the first year of operating the addition. That number could increase up to 1,000 per year, depending on the need. Procedures will range from dialysis treatment to angiography procedures.
"It cleans out arteries, basically," said radiology manager Shawn Peters. "It provides a front-line defense to potential amputation, stroke and kidney function. It also provides closer access to state-of-the-art care."
The new endovascular suite was designed to fulfill a need, said Velvette Jones, the hospital's chief operating officer and project lead.
The two-year project used input from the primary care physician network, cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons to determine the cardiovascular needs of the community. It was determined from that input about 1,500 people are expected to be in need of the type services offered in the suite in 2010.
"We're overcoming a stereotype that a community hospital does not offer extensive endovascular services. It's here, we're here and that's what we want people to know. But it's not about a national benchmark. It's about offering unique services at a community hospital."
In and out
The ambulatory or same-day center will focus on less complicated procedures, such as gallbladder or tonsil removal, for patients six-months and older.
The new addition, which opened last week, has two operating rooms and six pre-operation rooms.
"It's a great addition to the hospital and we'll be able to serve the community better for outpatient surgery," said Frank Searl, the interim manager for the center.
With the addition of a new da Vinci system, physicians will be able to treat malignancies like prostate and gynecologic cancers.
The da Vinci Si robotic device translates the surgeon's hand movements into precise maneuvers of common instruments used in operations. The system is equipped with four robotic arms and one channel of high-definition video for each eye, which provides visual clarity of target tissue and anatomy.
The da Vinci system also allows greater precision through tremor-reduction technology. Major benefits from the system include smaller incisions which equates to less blood loss and scarring, shorter recovery time and hospital stay, and less pain.
"We used to make a large incision and patients would have a three-to-five day hospital stay," Searl said. "Now it'll be a small incision and the hospital stay will be anywhere from 24 hours to two days."
Following recent approval from the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation, PHH eventually will add 15 beds to the facility. These beds will be located in a new two-story bed tower, which will be added to an existing one-story structure that currently includes surgical services. The bed tower is anticipated to open by 2011.
Beyond that, the hospital was given re-zoning approval to add an additional 204,000-square-feet of space over the next 20 years, a project that will cost about $26.5 million.
Other new programs include a $1.9 million clinical decision unit, which serves as a 24-hour observation area to help determine if a patient will be admitted or discharged.
A bariatric program, the first of its kind, also was just launched and a new PET (positron emission tomography) scanner will allow doctors to detect certain conditions like cancer.