Ochsner Neurocritical Care Commemorates 10 Years of Specialized Care
NEW ORLEANS – This year, the Ochsner Neurocritical Care Unit (NCC) at Ochsner Medical Centerin New Orleans marks its 10th anniversary of providing highly specialized and award-winning care to patients with complex neurological needs.
In 2010, the Ochsner Neurosciences Institute recognized a need for a hospital unit that could treat patients recovering from stroke, brain and spine surgery and other serious neurological disorders. At its inception, NCC had only six beds. Today, the unit has increased nearly sevenfold, and now boasts 40 beds to treat patients from Louisiana and across the Gulf South. It is the largest and most established critical care unit of its kind in the state, with seven neurointensivists — a highly specialized physician that treats life-threatening diseases of the nervous system and prevents secondary brain injury —14 advanced practice providers and more than 120 nurses all extensively trained in caring for critically ill patients.
Ochsner’s NCC serves as a major referral center, uniquely equipped to handle some of the most acute, complex cases. In 2019 alone, the unit treated more than 2,000 patients.
“As one of the largest units of our kind in the country, the Ochsner Neurocritical Care Unit’s staff has a high level of expertise,” said Vivek Sabharwal, MD, chair of the Ochsner Neurocritical Care Department. “We have seen and treated nearly every type of neurological disease and injury. Over the past 10 years, we have experienced not only tremendous growth, but also exemplary patient outcomes that are among the best in the United States.”
The Ochsner NCC has a history of strong outcomes that translates into actual patient lives saved. Using a nationally accepted critical care mortality prediction tool, Ochsner NCC has saved over 400 lives since 2017 in comparison to the average critical care unit. With the volume of patients and families impacted by this care, Ochsner NCC continues to be the preeminent center for severe neurological conditions in the Gulf South. This care includes the NCC team working collaboratively with Ochsner’s team of 12 neurosurgeons, 6 vascular (stroke) neurologists, 6 epileptologists and more than 20 additional neurologists.
Ochsner’s NCC treats the following common neurological and neurosurgical conditions, in addition to other rare disorders:
- Brain aneurysms
- Spine injury and disorders
- Brain tumors
- Traumatic brain injuries
The unit is a part of Ochsner’s Optimal Hospital Program, which offers advanced, patient-centered care using innovative devices and materials including patient tablets, wireless vitals monitoring, copper-infused linens and surfaces and red night lighting.
“One of the hallmarks of our neurosciences services at Ochsner is our seamless continuation of care,” Dr. Sabharwal explained. “From diagnosis in our emergency department or clinical setting, to surgery and recovery in neurocritical care, our physicians, surgeons and nursing staff are in constant contact and consult with one another and with you every step of the way on the journey to recovery.”
NCC is connected to the entire Ochsner Health System network of facilities and physicians through Epic – Ochsner’s integrated electronic health record system, which enables Ochsner physicians to securely share patient information, resulting in a higher level of coordinated care across the system. Patients can also use personalized MyOchsner accounts to access tests results and schedule appointments online through personalized MyOchsner accounts.
The Ochsner Neurosciences Institute’s award-winning quality includes being ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the one of the nation’s top 50 neurology and neurosurgery specialties for eight straight years. It is also a recipient of the Healthgrades Neurosciences Excellence Award and named among the top five percent in the nation for Neurosciences. Additional accolades are: Top 100 Hospitals and Health Systems with Great Neurosurgery and Spine Programs by Becker’s Hospital Review and a past recipient of the Healthgrades Cranial Neurosurgery Excellence Award and named among the top five percent in the nation for cranial neurosurgery. Ochsner Medical Center is also a certified Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission: the most demanding stroke certification and is designed for those hospitals that have specific abilities to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases.
To learn more about the Ochsner Neurocritical Care Unit and the Ochsner Neurosciences Institute, please visit www.ochsner.org/neurosciences.
About Ochsner Health System
Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 40 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and specialty hospitals, and more than 100 health centers and urgent care centers. Ochsner is the #1 ranked hospital in Louisiana by U.S. News & World Report and is recognized as a “Best Hospital” across two specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 70 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner Hospital for Children is the only facility in Louisiana to be recognized as a top 50 children’s hospital by U.S. News & World Report for three consecutive years. Ochsner employs more than 26,000 employees and over 4,500 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts more than 700 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.