By Nolan Patrick Smith
High Desert Daily
(Victorville) Technology has changed the world. From entertainment, to automobiles to everyday electronics, the changes can be seen everywhere you turn. Yet, the most important technological advancements are happening in the medical field, where new and improved equipment are saving lives every single day. In the last article on Desert Valley Hospital, we saw how the new affected the emergency department. In this article, we will focus on the technology housed inside of the new extension, and why it is beneficial to the community.
Desert Valley Hospital’s Director of Marketing Jana Bullock took High Desert Daily on a tour of the new facility, explaining some of the technological advancements the expansion holds. One of the major new additions to Desert Valley is something the patients will be happy to hear: an upgrade for the beds. Bullock touched on the beds, especially those in the ICU, and what the upgrades means to patients in the ICU.
“The beds are about 25,000 dollars each. They have very expensive mattresses that actually adjust to the pressure of their bodies, so they get less pressure sores from being in one position too long. The staff used to have to turn them, and I’m sure they still have to do some of that, but the mattresses are so high tech now they actually help to prevent bedsores. They are also upgrading mattresses in the regular rooms, but in the ICU they are upgraded even more since they tend to be in the hospital longer.”
While in the ICU, Bullock showed us two more additions that will make the hospital more efficient and safe. First being the tube system, much like the tube system seen in banking institution’s drive thru tellers. “This is brand new to us. This is a tube system to labs. It goes through the hospital, and there are codes so only the person on the other end will be able to receive it. We actually added this to the existing hospital as well so now it goes throughout the whole hospital. They will still use couriers, but this can save man hours and time if needed. I wouldn’t call this a backup but more as another option.”
The next advancement in the ICU is the addition of an isolation room. “What an isolation room is, it’s a negative pressure room, so air can’t come out. If you were to visit a loved one on there, you would have to glove and gown up, which is to protect you.” Bullock went on to explain in example that if someone comes in the hospital, and perhaps has MRSA, which is a highly contagious staph infection and hard to treat as it is very resistant to antibiotics, then that is where this room would be highly effective.
When a hospital looks at ways to improve their functions for a better experience for their patients, medication is bound to come up. The new expansion has a new way of accessing medication in the form of the Pyxis SupplyStation System, a secure inventory management system that helps track supply usage and access. The impressive pieces of technology hold not only the medications needed, but also dispense the exact amount and quantity needed. “This helps prevent patient medication errors. There’s a thumb print scanner to identify who it is, and then the patients information is scanned in. From there, the drawer opens with the appropriate meds. In the past, you would have a whole drawer full of meds.”
Of course, one of the main factors of the new extension in the Heart Center and Cardiac Care Program, which boasts some extremely impressive uses of technology as well. The Heart Center includes off pump/beating heart surgery, video assisted robotic thoracic procedures, valve repair and surgery for atrial fibrillation just to highlight a few. “We still have three surgery suites in the existing building, here we added two additional surgery suites and the open heart surgery suite.” Bullock made it clear that all the technological upgrades in the extension and the existing hospital are made with the patients care as the main priority.
For the last article in the Desert Valley Hospital series, we will be speaking with a former patient of Desert Valley Hospital, and see how the services received at Desert Valley saved their life. For more information on Desert Valley Hospital, make sure to visit them online at www.dvmc.com.