Health Beat - Winter 2017 - 11

Justin Hanke, M.D.

"This model is widely used in Kansas
City hospitals and other urban centers and has been shown to improve
patient outcomes, reduce complications,
decrease length of stay in the hospital
and improve patient safety," Hanke says.
"Since I don't work out of a clinic like
other specialists, I'm right here in the
unit where I can quickly lay my eyes
on a patient when necessary and we
can adjust or implement new services
as needed."

Innovative Treatment
Hanke's background allows a progressive approach that helps
patients get better more quickly. His ability to manage ventilator care has already shown a decrease in the number of
days patients typically spend having their breathing controlled
by a machine.
"In some instances patients are getting off the ventilator
within hours of coming to the ICU, where before it might have
been days," says Dan Mather, R.N., critical care director at
Salina Regional. "It's really a credit to the entire staff who are
highly trained to improve patient care."
Research shows that the longer patients spend on ventilators and other lifesaving machines, the longer the recovery.
Risks for complications such as pneumonia, bedsores and
other secondary illnesses also increase.
If patients don't respond well to being taken off a ventilator
or other treatments, Hanke can quickly re-intubate a patient,
run new catheters or IVs, and start a new course for care.

Better Communication
Since Hanke's arrival, a new way of managing patient care has
been implemented. Early each morning, staff members from
pharmacy, care management, dietary, respiratory care and
physical therapy, meet to discuss all patients under Hanke's
care. Then they form a plan for each patient's day.

"This approach allows all of the little details to be covered in one setting and care to be much more focused on the
patient," Hanke says. "Team members don't have to call one
another and wait for responses. This planning allows us to be
more aggressive with physical therapy, getting patients mobile
and managing nutrition."
Having a critical care doctor stationed in the department
also allows order changes to be carried out much more
quickly, says Sherri Murphy, R.N., charge nurse in the ICU.
"Dr. Hanke can do all of the procedures we most commonly need, so we don't have to have as many doctors on a
case," Murphy says. "He's here in the unit a lot and comes up
at night and on weekends so we can respond to patient needs
much more rapidly."
Greater communication and availability has been well
received by patients and their family members. While Hanke
routinely visits with patients once or twice a day, his availability allows him to give direct updates at other times to family
members who may not have been present during his visits.
The family of Claud Lecklider says they appreciated
Hanke's availability when Claud had a lengthy stay in the ICU
last summer. Claud came into the hospital with shortness of
breath and poor cardiac function. He ended up having multiple heart surgeries and a pacemaker-defibrillator placed. His
health became critical multiple times during his stay.
"We had several serious moments, and Dr. Hanke was
able to come in and lay everything out for us," says Linda
Lecklider, Claud's wife. "We didn't always like what we heard,
but we knew exactly what was going on. Everyone has been
really nice, and we feel like he's been taken great care of."

Growth of a Program
Salina Regional's ICU, which was expanded to 18 rooms in
2013, still often operates near capacity. Hanke's presence
and progressive approach allows patients to be transferred
to step-down care units more quickly, which frees up bed
space in the ICU.
A number of patients from around north central Kansas
and beyond are transferred to Salina Regional when their
circumstances become critical.
"We can manage any level of patient acuity that a large
hospital can, with the exception of advanced interventional
radiology patients," Hanke says. "I think Salina is on the
verge of becoming a pretty large center for patients with
critical illness." 1

Salina Regional Health Center's new
ICU offers better functionality, more
space and more privacy. To learn more, visit


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