California Pacific Medical Center

Specially-Designed Hospital Unit Helps Prevent Mental and Physical Decline in Elderly Patients

Posted on Aug 6, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Quality, Scroll Images

SAN FRANCISCO – Hospitalized elderly people are at risk of developing complications like delirium—which carries the same risk of mortality as a heart attack.

Now a specially-designed Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) unit, combined with a volunteer-powered Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) at Sutter’s CPMC Mission Bernal Campus hospital, is focused on decreasing incidents of delirium and other complications. ACE unit staff and volunteers are also working to improve these patients’ coordination and mobility, decrease length of hospital stays and reduce readmissions. In addition to better health outcomes, this innovative care helps control costs and fosters affordable, dependable healthcare.

The team behind the Geriatric Accreditation. Sara G Cohen, MS, RN, AGCNS-BC; Wendy Zachary, M.D., Geriatrician; Ritik Chandra, M.D., Emergency Medicine

The hospital, which part of the Sutter’s integrated network of care, recently earned a Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA) from the American College of Emergency Physicians. GEDA was developed by leaders in emergency medicine to ensure that our older patients receive well-coordinated, quality care at the appropriate level at every emergency department encounter. Mission Bernal Campus hospital is the first San Francisco hospital to earn the voluntary designation in 2019 –and it is one of only three Northern California hospitals to do so.

“This accreditation strengthens our goal of providing advanced care for older members of our community who are particularly medically vulnerable,” said Wendy Zachary M.D., a geriatrician and the medical director of the Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) unit—an inpatient unit at Mission Bernal Campus hospital designed exclusively for people over 70. “Older patients often arrive at the emergency department presenting with multiple chronic conditions and symptoms.”

The decision to voluntarily pursue the emergency department accreditation demonstrates the hospital’s commitment to provide the best quality of emergency care to San Francisco’s older patients—a population that is expected to include 30 percent of residents in San Francisco by 2030 according to San Francisco’s Department of Aging and Adult Services.

Dr. Wendy Zachary with 100 year old ACE patient Dorothy Bobbet

“The Emergency Department is one of the most important access points for older patients seeking medical care,” said Dr. Ritik Chandra, medical director of the CPMC Mission Bernal Emergency Department. “At Sutter CPMC we work to ensure that healthcare is readily available to everyone and we tailor our services to best meet the needs of our diverse community, including the special needs of older patients.”

Mission Bernal Campus hospital’s emergency department features specially-designed exam rooms for older patients, including calming colors, non-slip floors, and measures to reduce falls. Up to 90 percent of the patients in the hospital’s ACE Unit are admitted directly from the hospital’s emergency department. Approximately thirty to thirty-four patients per day are cared for in the ACE unit. ACE unit physicians and staff members undergo training that is specific to the needs of older patients.

The ACE unit is a dedicated floor in the hospital, with 34 private rooms and a physical therapy/rehabilitation room. In addition, there is a large activity room where patients can share meal times and engage in music therapy, guided imagery, and other activities that encourage older patients to continue to socialize and move around during their hospital stay.

With the combination of the geriatric accreditation for the emergency department and the ACE unit, CPMC’s Mission Bernal Campus hospital is focused on providing specialized care to address the needs of San Francisco’s older residents.

A PAL for Preemies: Musical Pacifier Helps Babies Learn to Eat

Posted on Jul 24, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, NICU, Pediatric Care, Quality, Scroll Images

SAN FRANCISCO — Born a month and a half early at just 34 weeks, tiny baby Olive O’Neill was so premature that she was unable to feed orally. But by sucking on a pacifier that plays a lullaby sung by her parents, baby Olive quickly learned how to feed and has successfully gone home to her family.

Baby Olive using the PAL

The innovative device is called a PAL, short for Pacifier-Activated Lullaby. The PAL works by motivating babies to suck on a specially designed pacifier to help strengthen their sucking reflex.

At birth, premature infants often lack a developed sucking reflex. The inability to feed on their own is a common reason they remain hospitalized after birth. To help these newborns develop the sucking reflex more quickly so they can go home sooner, California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) Van Ness Campus hospital in San Francisco, part of Sutter Health’s integrated not-for-profit network of care, is now using the PAL in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Research backs the PAL

According to music therapist Elisha Madsen, MME, MT-BC, who works with parents in CPMC’s NICU to train their infants with the special pacifier, studies show that premature infants who receive PAL therapy develop an increased ability to eat on their own more quickly, gain weight and have a reduced length of NICU hospitalization.

Studies have determined that average NICU hospital stays were 20 percent shorter (nine days on average) for babies who received PAL treatment versus babies who did not. Studies also have shown that babies increased their sucking rates up to 2.5 times more than infants who did not receive PAL. Increased sucking translates to improved oral feeding skills, which can directly affect a baby’s ability to go home from the NICU sooner.

How PAL works

The PAL is attached to a sensor that measures the strength of the baby’s sucking. When the PAL detects that the baby has sucked on the pacifier to a predetermined strength, the baby earns a reward – a lullaby recorded by the baby’s mom or dad. Music therapist Madsen explains that hearing their parent singing a lullaby motivates babies to continue sucking on the pacifier, which in turn improves the sucking reflex.

Charles and Alissa O’Neill, who recorded the traditional lullaby “London Bridge is Falling Down” for their daughter Olive, credit the PAL with helping her develop the ability to feed.

“Having the PAL is great because you could see instantly that she had a really good response to both her mom’s voice and my voice – which helped her develop her sucking,” says Olive’s dad, Charles.

“The last couple of weeks of our stay at CPMC were focused around feeding and helping Olive [learn to] feed on her own,” adds mom Alissa. “After we used the PAL, we also sang to Olive to help encourage her to feed.”

Madsen says that, within a couple of minutes, most babies learn they will have to suck on the pacifier to receive their music reward. “Parents light up when they see their baby is responding to their singing voices and is learning the skills needed to eat and go home,” Madsen says. “It is just precious to see this reaction.”

CPMC’s Level III NICU: Life-saving Technologies and Compassionate Support

CPMC’s Van Ness Campus hospital NICU is a designated level III NICU capable of caring for very small or very sick newborn babies that may need continuous life support and comprehensive care. Level III NICUs also offer a full range of pediatric medical subspecialists capable of providing critical medical and surgical care and to address problems that premature and critically ill newborns may have.

Studies have shown better outcomes for very low birth weight infants and premature infants who are born at level III centers, leading to recommendations that women at risk be transported to these centers to give birth. Through Sutter Health’s integrated network of care, women with high-risk pregnancies, and babies born prematurely or with complications, can be transported to a higher level of NICU with seamless coordination of medical care and support. This seamless care can reduce complication, reduce hospital readmissions and reduce the overall cost of care.

 

 

A new gold star for cancer care at CPMC: Accreditation by the American College of Surgeons National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer

Posted on Jul 19, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Expanding Access, Innovation, People, Quality, Research, Scroll Images

SAN FRANCISCO – Calif. More than 40,000 people in the United States develop rectal cancer each year and it is the second most common cause of cancer deaths. Fortunately, research has made inroads for colorectal cancer—including the development of targeted therapies that more precisely treat the disease.

Cancer patients treated at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) benefit from leading-edge research, compassionate care, and the opportunity to enroll in clinical trials of the latest therapies for cancers at all stages of the illness.

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Research at Sutter Health Brings New Hope to People With ALS

Posted on Jul 10, 2019 in Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, People, Quality, Research, Scroll Images, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Stephen Hawking—one of the world’s most accomplished physicists— lived most of his life with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). His lifetime of accomplishments and worldwide renown cast an international spotlight on the debilitating disease. Read More

New research by Sutter’s Center for Health Systems Research focused on fostering physician wellness

Posted on Jul 2, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Quality, Research, Scroll Images, Transformation

SAN FRANCISCO – How do you take care of those whose life’s work is to take care of others? “Physician, heal thyself” is an increasingly challenging objective to achieve for the more than 50% of American clinicians who report symptoms of burnout. Emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, depression and feelings of helplessness burden the care providers staffing primary and specialty clinics nationwide.

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The Dog-tor Will See You Now

Posted on Jun 18, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Carousel, Pediatric Care, Scroll Images

Therapy Dog Cares for Patients at CPMC Van Ness Campus

Posey with 16 year old pediatric patient Buddy Pendergast

SAN FRANCISCO–Anxiety and fear are common issues that pediatricians and staff address every day when caring for children inside Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center Emergency Department. They enlist child life specialists to assist, as well as a very special team member, Posey the Therapy Dog.

Posey partners with emergency department pediatrician, Vince Tamariz, M.D., to see young patients who come in for assistance with an illness or injury. While Dr. Tamariz addresses the health issue, Posey addresses the stress children face when coming into this unfamiliar environment. With a soft and unhurried approach, Posey can easily distract a child from the frightening medical activity that is underway and bring a sense of calm and curiosity to the child, reducing the fear and anxiety.

“When Posey walks into the room kids have something to focus on that is a distraction from what is happening with their care,” said Dr. Tamariz. “Even parents admit that Posey helps relieve the stress they feel resulting from the need to bring their child to the emergency department.”

When there is a break in the activity of the emergency department, Posey can be found on the pediatric floor of the hospital. Posey makes her rounds, checking in on young patients to see if anyone needs her loving assistance. When she walks into a room spirits lift and children have a break from the ailments that bring them to the hospital. While patients love to see Posey and pet her soft fur, she will also hop up on the bed—when invited—to lay beside a patient who may have difficulty reaching her or getting out of the bed.

Many studies show that petting a dog makes you feel good; it increases oxytocin in the body, which amplifies feelings of happiness and empathy. It also lowers the heart rate, decreases blood pressure and reduces cortisol (the stress hormone). These results can make a big difference for children in the hospital.