Sledgehammers are swinging at Mercy of Northwest Arkansas. Construction is now underway on the $5.5 million Mercy Heart and Vascular Center expansion. The new center is designed to offer patients needing cardiac care one central location inside the hospital where they can come for outpatient procedures.
Phase one of the project is internal construction. This includes a separate second floor entrance to the Mercy Heart and Vascular Center. Inside there will be an 11-bed pre and post procedure unit dedicated to cardiac patients. There will also be an additional cardiac catheterization lab added bringing the total at the center to four. The new cath lab will include Arkansas’ first robotic C-arm to help cardiologists get better heart images even faster. One new piece of equipment in the new lab is a $1.3 million robotic C-arm that helps cardiologists get better heart images faster. Rankin said it is the first such device in the state.
Also part of the expansion is a new cardiac imaging suite, a one-stop shop for patients needing cardiac tests. It will include two nuclear medicine cameras dedicated to cardiac patients, five echocardiogram machines, two nuclear stress rooms and one echo stress room. The price tag on phase one of the project is approximately $2.5 million and is scheduled to be complete in February 2011.
Phase two of the project will include external enhancements. It is scheduled to begin after completion of phase one. The first thing visitors to the hospital will notice is work on a second floor bridge connector from the Mercy Physicians Plaza to the new hospital entrance. This new architectural feature will join the hospital and the physician’s plaza together from the ground level to the second floor. It will allow easy access from the Mercy Heart and Vascular clinic offices to the new heart and vascular center. Phase two construction will also include a more convenient patient discharge exit and additional patient parking closer to the building specifically for cardiac patients. Work on the external enhancements is expected to be complete in June 2011. The cost on this phase is $3 million bringing total project cost to an estimated $5.5 million.