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JFK Medical Center expands services with new cardiac catheterization lab

Hackensack Meridian JFK Medical Center opened a new, state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization lab

Hackensack Meridian JFK Medical Center opened its new, state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization lab, offering expert care, the latest diagnostic and interventional technologies, and special amenities for patients to enhance their care experience.

The new cath lab, one of three at JFK Medical Center, is part of a $12 million investment by Hackensack Meridian Health in cardiac catheterization services at the medical center.

“The transformation of our cardiac catheterization lab reflects our mission and commitment to provide high quality care and an exceptional patient experience,” Amie Thornton, chief hospital executive, Hackensack Meridian JFK Medical Center, said in a prepared statement on Aug. 31. “Our cardiac catheterization team has outstanding leadership and a record of excellent clinical outcomes. Cardiologists choose the JFK Cardiac Catheterization Lab because of the quality of its staff and services. With cardiac conditions being among the most widespread health care challenges in society, our new facility and advanced technologies will benefit the communities we serve.”

JFK Medical Center’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab provides one of the largest volumes of cardiac interventional procedures in New Jersey, according to the statement. Physicians at the lab treat approximately 3,500 patients a year, including diagnostic catheterizations and 1,300 percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures. Diagnostic procedures help to identify life-threatening heart conditions, and PCI is a non-surgical procedure that opens blood vessels in the heart to restore critical blood flow.

The investment in the new cardiac lab underscores JFK Medical Center’s recent designation by The American College of Cardiology (ACC) as a HeartCARE Center: National Distinction of Excellence program. This honor recognizes the hospital for its commitment to a comprehensive high-quality cardiac culture. JFK is the first and only hospital in New Jersey with this honor, according to the statement.

The new Cardiac Catheterization Lab is fully accredited by the American College of Cardiology as well, allowing consolidation and expansion of all non-invasive cardiac procedures in the new Lab. The ACC Cardiac Catheterization Lab accreditation is based on rigorous onsite evaluation of the staff’s ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who come to the cardiac catheterization lab for care.

“I’m proud of our ACC accreditation and of the fact that our cardiac catheterization lab provides one of the largest volumes of cardiac interventional procedures in New Jersey,” Dr. Saleem Husain, interventional cardiologist and medical director of the JFK Medical Center Cardiac Catheterization Lab, said in the statement.

Husain has more than 30 years of experience in medicine and cardiology, and he is a pioneer in the concept of “same-day discharge” after a coronary intervention.

“Our new lab and expanded services allow us to perform more interventions, including cardiac endo-vascular procedures with new technologies, such as Ekos and FlowTriever in the management of submassive pulmonary embolism, a life-threatening event,” he said in the statement. “Our expert team is truly committed to providing the most innovative technologies in a collaborative environment focused on the cardiac health of our patients and their recovery.”

Ekos is a new device that simultaneously delivers ultrasound energy to mechanically dislodge and loosen blood clots to enable lower and safer doses of medicines that treat blood clots. The FlowTriever is a system that removes clots through both mechanical and aspiration mechanisms of action and captures and removes large clots from big blood vessels.

“As part of the ACC Accreditation, we have demonstrated exceptional competency in treating patients who require cardiac catheterization, and we have standardized the assessment process for cardiac catheterization to ensure quality and patient safety,” Herminio Rivera, cardiac services director, JFK Medical Center said in the statement. “We have ensured that care for sedation, infection control, radiation safety and all other protocols are optimized and fully coordinated. We have also enhanced physician-to-patient communications, patient-family communication, discharge instructions and follow-up information.”

Amie Thornton added, “As part of the most comprehensive health network in the state, JFK Medical Center offers more options than ever before for treating cardiovascular illnesses. Our collective strengths and collaboration with experts in our network – Hackensack University Medical Center and Jersey Shore University Medical Center – ensure seamless and expedited care for the most complex heart conditions. Our patients have incredible access to heart experts, close to home.”

Latest Technologies

JFK Medical Center’s new Cardiac Catheterization Lab uses the most advanced technologies in cardiac catheterization care, according to the statement.

The Impella “next generation” heart pump is a small pump that temporarily assists the pumping function of the heart during stent placement. SmartAssist is designed to improve patient outcomes by using real-time information to optimize use of the pump in cardiac interventional procedures for better patient care. The lab also uses Impella Connect, a cloud-based remote view of the Impella device for collaborative patient management and better patient outcomes. Cardiologists at JFK also use advanced pump metrics to assist in positioning, managing and removing the Impella device.

Another advanced technology used by interventional cardiologists at JFK is the Innova IGS 5 advanced digital X-ray imaging system. This radiological advance helps the JFK cardiologists treat diseases of the heart and blood vessels, such as heart attacks and cardiac valve abnormalities. The Innova IGS 5 system provides the high image quality necessary for visualizing small vessels and devices within the heart while helping to keep radiation as low as possible to adapt to all cardiovascular procedures.   

Cardiologists at the JFK Cardiac Catheterization Lab also use a digital innovation, the secure IntraSight interventional applications platform to seamlessly integrate intravascular imaging and physiology applications for image-guided procedures. IntraSight optimizes the work of the cardiac catheterization lab, providing tableside touchscreen controls, systems integration, data management and remote service diagnostics.

“We treat a range of complex cardiovascular diseases with interventional cardiology,” Husain said in the statement. “With technology like IntraSight, we are able to integrate different sources of information, decide on the best course of treatment for the individual patients, carry out the procedure and assess the effectiveness. The IntraSight technology allows us to integrate intravascular diagnostic applications in a seamless workflow in the interventional cardiology lab.”

Patient Amenities and Services

As a companion to the most advanced technologies, JFK Medical Center also offers high-touch features, such as a post-procedure patient lounge which has the atmosphere of a café or hotel lounge, where patients can recover from their catheterization procedures in comfort, sitting in new recliners/lounge chairs and enjoying refreshments and meals, according to the statement.

“Most patients who have cardiac catheterization go home the same day of the procedure, and at JFK Medical Center the amenities in the lounge help patients experience the comforts of home in the lab and facilitate a smooth post-procedure recovery, which helps to improve patient satisfaction with the care,” Rivera said in the statement.

Advanced nurse practitioners provide direct patient care in the catheterization lab, support the cardiologists to ensure appropriate patient education, and transition patients from the cardiac catheterization lab back to the care of their cardiologists in the doctors’ offices. 

“Nurses are an integral part of the treatment team, and advanced nurse practitioners serve to make sure all of the patients’ clinical needs are being met as they move through the treatment phase to recovery and transition back home and to their referring doctor. This happens quickly so it’s very important that a nurse with advanced training is guiding the process,” Jim Lindquist, chief nursing officer, JFK Medical Center, said in the statement.

The JFK Medical Center Cardiovascular Center prides itself on maintaining strong lines of communication with its patients’ primary care physicians and community-based specialists, according to the statement. The center collaborates closely with these individuals in formulating expeditious plans for cardiac intervention and in providing thorough follow-up. For more information, visit www.jfkmc.org/services/cardiology/

Recognized Leader in Cardiac Expertise

In addition to advanced, non-invasive cardiac diagnosis, Hackensack Meridian Health offers minimally invasive cardiac catheterization procedures to examine the blood vessels in and around the heart and check heart function, according to the statement. Performed in a cardiac catheterization lab, these procedures can show problems with the heart muscle, arteries or valves.  Hackensack Meridian cardiologists also provide advanced treatment options for pulmonary embolism and peripheral vascular disease.

Safe Care in the Era of COVID-19

JFK Medical Center has implemented many new protocols with safety at the forefront. JFK has separate areas for non-COVID-19 patients, temperature checks for all patients, visitors, team members and physicians, rigorous cleaning and sanitization of our facilities, according to the statement.

To learn more about any JFK Medical Center services, visit JFKMC.org.

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