Excerpt from South Coast Today

Southcoast Health unveiled what it's calling a "state-of-the-art" electrophysiology lab at Charlton Memorial Hospital. The new facility expands and enhances Southcoast Health's already nationally recognized cardiovascular services program, according to a news release.

The $4 million, 3,800-square-foot lab will be dedicated to performing complex procedures for patients with atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia and atrial tachycardia.

"With this state-of-the-art lab — utilizing advanced technology that is not found in most of the major Boston hospitals — we will be able to continue to provide outstanding outcomes for our patients but with less radiation and greater precision. Better equipment will not be found anywhere else in this country or, for that matter, the world," Dr. Ramin Davoudi, director of electrophysiology for Southcoast Health, said in a statement.

The new electrophysiology lab, where providers will begin treating patients later this month, has more cameras to allow for better and quicker visualization of catheters. It uses highly advanced technology to minimize radiation from X-rays. In some cases, it can reduce X-ray exposure by up to 80 percent. It was designed by JACA Architects with Shawmut Design and Construction serving as general contractor.

The lab also has a new mapping system that helps physicians localize abnormal electrical signals from the heart at 10 times the speed of the old system. This will cut down procedure times for the patient and the operator, and improve accuracy and success, according to the release. This mapping system was recently approved by the FDA, and Southcoast Health is one of 30 health companies in the United States to utilize the technology.

The addition of the lab will allow Southcoast Health to accommodate the increasing volume of patients and significantly decrease the wait time for many complex procedures. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 2.7 million to 6.1 million people in the United States have atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat . In 2012, Southcoast Health discharged more than 700 A-Fib cases, the second highest number of all the commonwealth's health systems, according to the release.

"Southcoast Health is redefining what great healthcare means," said Keith A. Hovan, president & CEO of the company. "We are always pressing forward to provide our patients with the very highest quality of care, tailored to the unique needs of our communities and our patients."

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