A cardiovascular single-unit-stay program began at North Memorial Medical Center, Robbinsdale, Minn, in January 2000. Before then, cardiac surgery patients had been admitted to the intensive care unit directly from the operating room and then transferred to the postcoronary care unit on postoperative day 1 or 2. The traditional care delivery model created multiple transfers and delays in care, which often led to dissatisfaction among patients, increased costs, and greater potential for errors. The cardiovascular single-unit-stay program allows patients to stay in the same room with a consistent care team throughout the patients’ postoperative course. Decreased lengths of stay, decreased morbidity and mortality, increased satisfaction among patients and their families, and improved collaboration between members of the multidisciplinary team are just a few of the positive trends since the program’s inception.

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