Farmington Hills, MI (Nov. 6, 2006)---Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills today increased its telemetry capacity. Sixteen additional remote monitors will ease crowding in the hospital’s Emergency Center, the second busiest in Oakland County. By being able to closely monitor more patients in the nursing units, admitted emergency patients will be able to receive faster room assignments. And, they will benefit from being in the relative calm, quiet and privacy of their hospital rooms.
Botsford’s emergency doctors send people to the hospital’s 65-bed Progressive Care Unit (PCU) when they are concerned about key body functions, such as the heart rate. But with an aging population and sicker patients, Botsford’s PCU runs at full capacity much of the time. The added telemetry capacity allows flexibility when assigning patients to rooms since the hospital now has 23 total remote monitors that can be used from any bed on any unit.
Cheryl Discher, RN, Botsford’s PCU manager, explains, “Telemetry is a way to send data electronically from one point to another. On my unit, and now throughout the hospital on the remote monitors, machines record electronic data related to 88 patients. The machines send this data to two central areas where it can be displayed on TV screens for my staff to read, allowing patients to be watched closely for signs of trouble.”
The most common measurements are the heart’s rate and electrical activity. Blood pressure, breathing rate, temperature, and blood oxygen level can also be measured if needed. Technicians in the central monitoring areas watch for any problems. Certain conditions can be detected even before physical symptoms occur. In some cases, lifesaving treatment can be given based on this data. For example, someone whose heart is beating irregularly can be monitored in this unit. The staff can then keep a close watch on any heartbeat changes. If necessary, treatment can be given swiftly.
Electrodes are placed on the patient’s chest; lead wires are attached to the electrodes, which are connected to a portable monitor. This allows heart rate and electrical tracing of the heart to be recorded. The monitor box connected to the electrodes sends the data to the central area. Generally, the box fits into a pocket in the patient’s gown. People receiving this level of care also often have an intravenous line, usually in the arm.
“While this type of monitoring may sometimes be annoying to the patient,” Discher notes, “it can be lifesaving. And that’s what we’re all about---saving lives.”
Botsford General Hospital, an independent, acute care, 330-bed community hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich., was founded in 1965. Nationally recognized for quality, safety and medical education programs, Botsford has received the 2005 Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: Performance Improvement Leaders award and the 2005 Governor’s Award of Excellence for Improving Care in the Hospital Setting (for treatment of heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia) and in the Emergency Department Setting (for treatment of heart attack and pneumonia). Botsford’s Web address is www.botsford.org.
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