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North Carolina Hospital Plans Caravan Transfer of Critically Ill Patients

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -  With great care and meticulous planning, Carolinas Specialty Hospital (CSH) will move its 35 critically ill patients to its new home in Pineville in a specially-staffed, tightly-controlled operation that will take eight to 10 hours.

Carolinas Specialty Hospital's patients, many of whom will still be on ventilators and other life-supporting systems, will make the September 11 trip from the unique hospital's current home at Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy to a new state-of-the-art facility nine miles away.

"We've been planning this move for more than a year and have developed a system that will ensure the very best care for all of our patients throughout the move," says CSH CEO Daniel C. Dunmyer. "We're anticipating smooth sailing, but are taking precautions to prepare for all possibilities."

CSH is Charlotte's only long-term acute care hospital. It is specifically licensed to care for medically complex patients still in need of intensive care after being discharged from area hospital ICUs.

The new facility triples CSH's space and is specifically designed for CSH's medically complex patients. Elements of the new facility include: A nurse monitoring station for every two rooms 12-foot picture windows in each patient room to combat long-term stay disorientation All new technology Portable i-STAT chemical analysis equipment for bedside lab work The ability to offer services in-house that had previously required patient transportation to other facilities Increased dialysis services Rooftop garden with putting green for patient rehabilitation.

Several ambulances will cycle patients to the new facility, timed so that not more than one patient is being picked up or delivered at a time. Medic ambulance personnel are trained to care for such patients in transport, and in some cases CSH personnel may accompany a patient with special needs.

A move commander will be stationed at each facility to control the flow. Both facilities will be staffed, with a synchronized shifting of personnel to accommodate the changing needs at each location. Additional professional staff will be on hand for the move day, and volunteers will assist, as well.

Staff members will keep patients' families well informed during the move process. Family members will not accompany patients during the transport but will be welcomed at the new facility, given a tour and taken to their loved one's room.

The $40 million, 86,500-square-foot facility is a partnership between CSH and Carolinas HealthCare System, which will house Carolinas Rehabilitation-Pineville in the building. This unique medical partnership was formed to provide the highest level of advanced services for the most complex patients in need of long-term care and inpatient rehabilitation.

CSH's new 40-bed facility is located at 10648 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28210. For more information about CSH, please visit cshnc.com.



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