Cities in Shelby County are among the fastest growing in Alabama. In conjunction with the expanding population, Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster has undergone upgrades and renovations within the hospital as part of a $10 million capital project which was completed in September in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of the hospital.
The three-fold project includes a new hybrid operating room, the complete renovation of nine operating rooms, and a new cystoscopy lab. "We cover most of central Alabama, so Shelby Baptist is the first hospital you come to in the Birmingham metro area if you are driving from Prattville, Alexander City or Selma," says Daniel Listi, CEO of Shelby Baptist Medical Center. "Over 80 primary care practices refer to us for patient treatment throughout central Alabama. Our ability to add these specialized services and suites allows us to provide a high level of service at our hospital."
The hybrid OR is a combination catheterization laboratory suite and an operating room that typically is used to treat high-risk patients. "We wouldn't want to send those patients to a regular cath lab for a procedure. We want to have surgical services available and at the bedside if needed," Listi says. "In the past, patients who required immediate care would have to be moved from the cath lab to an operating room. That takes time and delays the patient's heart care. The hybrid suite allows us to do all procedures in the same room, making is safer and more convenient for patients."
The project to update the nine regular OR suites will make a big impact on hospital services. "All of those suites were built about 20 years ago. Modernizing those areas will allow for greater efficiencies and can attract more surgeons to our campus," Listi says. "The updates will make Shelby an innovator and leader for attracting the brightest physicians."
Listi says there has been tremendous increase in heart disease in Shelby, Bibb and Chilton counties. The Heart South Cardiovascular Group is a growing practice in the area and currently provides the majority of the cardiologists at Shelby Baptist. "Heart South has a big impact on the services we offer," he says. "Last year, Shelby Baptist collaborated with Health South to start a structural heart program that focuses on doing tiny procedures through the groin to repair heart valves. They also do the Watchman procedure for stroke prevention without opening the heart. Rehab alone for those open-heart procedures is a tremendous burden for patients. Being able to use a small percutaneous line in the leg without opening the chest is a huge win."
A new cystoscopy lab is the third part of the renovation. The suite will be used by urologists to perform catheterizations and minimally invasive procedures. "For the urologists, this new suite is a big step forward," says orthopedic surgeon Daryl Dykes, former Chief of Staff at Shelby Baptist. "The room is large and the equipment has top-quality digital imaging which is a big advancement. In addition, by moving the Urology Department to the new room, it opens up another operating room for other doctors."
Dykes points out that whenever renovations such as these are done, better and more modern diagnostic imaging equipment is installed in the hospital. "In general, these upgrades give us the ability to do digital imaging in the ORs and gives us better monitors to use. In my case, the better resolution on the new screens allows us to greatly enlarge photos of broken bones on an X-ray. I can see from across the room, and the clear picture makes it easier for me to place screws in the correct position," Dykes says. "I think all of these upgrades will help Shelby Baptist keep pace with other facilities from a modernization standpoint."
At the end of this year, Shelby Baptist will be completing accreditation with the Joint Commission as a primary stroke center. "All of our data and outcomes today exceed the targets given by the American Heart Association," Listi says. "We are excited to take credit for the hard work that the community and staff members are doing for stroke care. It is something that has tied the hospital together because it touches every department on this campus."
Future renovations are already in the planning stages. First will be a dialysis and radiology update at the main campus, followed by a second-floor renovation. "We've seen so much growth in cardiac care, vascular care and stroke care that we are envisioning a 50-bed area that will be dedicated to treating those patients. It will be an amazing service for the community," Listi says. "Our hospital is a great gem that Baptist has preserved over the years. The county also took good care of it and made the right investments when it was manager. Because of that, I'm not worried about the infrastructure and the level of care. We're trying to get everything to look and feel great for our patients who have supported us over the years."