Mayfield neurosurgical patients at University Hospital are first to experience one-stop recovery in acuity-adjustable setting

CINCINNATI - Beginning Tuesday, Mayfield Clinic patients who have undergone surgery for brain tumors or elective conditions that include brain aneurysms, epilepsy and Chiari malformation will recover in a new way at UC Health’s University Hospital. Rather than going from room to room as their condition improves, and from one nursing team to another, they will stay put while a single clinical team devoted to their care adjusts the room to them.

The hospital has redeveloped a fourth-floor wing into what is known as an “acuity-adjustable unit.” The unit is capable of adjusting its 10 individual rooms, as well as the intensity of nursing care, to the acuteness, or severity, of a patient’s condition. Monitoring equipment and other recovery technologies can be added or removed as needed.

“This concept originated in cardiovascular care, and this is the first time it has been implemented for neurosurgery,” said Ronald Warnick, MD, the Mayfield Clinic Chairman and neurosurgeon who proposed and championed the unit as Medical Director of the Brain Tumor Center at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute. “In the past, a patient might be in three or four different rooms within the hospital.”

Acuity-adjustable units previously established for cardiovascular patients have reduced medical errors, falls and patient anxiety, Dr. Warnick said. “Hospitals with cardiovascular acuity-adjustable units have seen a drop of up to 90 percent in the number of transfers to new beds, a 70 percent reduction in medication errors and a 75 percent decrease in patient falls. We expect to see similarly significant benefits for our neurosurgical patients.”

Most of the patients expected to fill the rooms will have undergone surgical treatment for brain tumors. Two of the unit’s 10 rooms are hard-wired to provide continuous seizure monitoring for patients who have undergone epilepsy surgery.

“The new rooms are designed to allow a family member to stay with the patient around the clock,” Dr. Warnick said. “Enhanced family participation has a direct impact on patient satisfaction and has been shown to reduce stress and expedite recovery. Our new unit elevates care to an entirely new level.”

In a departure to the gleaming but noisy feel of traditional hospital wings, the soft-hued acuity-adjustable unit was designed with natural lighting and sound-deadening features to offer a relaxing and serene environment.

* * *
The Mayfield Clinic is recognized as one of the nation's leading physician organizations for clinical care, education, and research of the spine and brain. Supported by 21 neurosurgeons, six neurointensivists, an interventional radiologist, six physical medicine & rehabilitation specialists, and a pain specialist, the Clinic treats 25,000 patients from 35 states and 13 countries in a typical year. Mayfield's physicians have pioneered surgical procedures and instrumentation that have revolutionized the medical art of neurosurgery for brain tumors and neurovascular diseases and disorders.

Ronald Warnick, MD

A Grade 4 glioma, the most malignant, is a glioblastoma multiforme, so named because each individual cancer can include many different genetic forms and aberrations.