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Nationally ranked cardiovascular program expands to better serve patients

May 23 , 2016

After more than six months of construction, Huntsville Hospital's new Heart Institute is ready for patients.

Located on the third floor, the Heart Institute is designed to be a front door of sorts for the hospital's nationally-ranked cardiovascular program. Patients arriving for heart catheterizations, cardiac interventions, pacemaker implants, nuclear stress tests and other outpatient cardiac procedures will have access to a spacious new reception area and lobby. Just off the lobby is a modern, 37-bed Cardiac Short Stay area where patients will be prepped for their procedures and spend time recovering afterward. It's significantly larger than the current 28-bed Short Stay area and much more private with individual rooms. Also, the unit boasts sound-absorbing flooring and ceiling tiles to keep things quiet for patients.

Planning for the Heart Institute began when the Clinical Lab relocated from the third floor to the Twickenham Place office building, freeing up 17,000 square feet adjacent to the hospital's cardiac cath, electrophysiology and transesophageal echocardiogram labs.

"It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reinvent the cardiac program," said Chris Thornton, RN, Cath Lab and Cardiac Short Stay Director. "The new space is going to allow us to take care of patients more efficiently and get their procedures done in more timely fashion, which translates to a quicker recovery."

The hospital hired six additional nurses, four cardiovascular techs and a secretary to help staff the Heart Institute. More than 50 cardiologists are authorized to perform procedures in the adjacent cardiac labs.

Huntsville Hospital’s cardiovascular program is ranked among the Top 50 programs nationally by both Truven Health Analytics and Healthgrades.