Your donations are being put to work: 17 New Vital Signs Monitors for QCH

Queensway Carleton Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) will have access to 17 new Electronic Vital Signs Monitors, thanks to the incredible generosity of our donors. These medical devices are essential to patient care and used more than 400 times per day by the frontline team.

Along with monitoring a patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturations levels and temperature, these devices can also help detect early stages of deterioration in a patient and allow the medical team to respond quickly.

Sue Macfarlane, QCH Emergency Department Educator, with a new Electronic Vitals Signs Monitor.

The important role this device plays in the overall patient journey was highlighted recently, by  Fiona Slater, QCH Emergency Department Clinical Nurse Manager who said,

“The information collected from the Electronic Vital Signs Monitors was uploaded directly to a patient’s electronic medical chart so the healthcare team could access and review the results in real-time. When the data went into the chart, it signaled the potential for a health risk and the staff member immediately alerted the on-call physician and followed the escalation process.The patient was moved to an observation room and eventually transferred to the Intensive Care Unit. By having access to this technology we were able to intervene quickly and provide a better outcome for the patient,” explains Fiona. “This is just one example of how innovation in healthcare is saving lives.”

How do new Vital Signs Monitors benefit patients?

Wearable sensors attached to the patient’s body automatically measure several vital signs simultaneously and feed this information in real time to the monitor. Patients can be more comfortable, and healthcare team members can provide a faster and improved patient experience.

Additionally, the new Vital Signs Monitors are integrated with Meditech – QCH’s online electronic health record system – that provides clinical charting for our healthcare team. Patient data is seamlessly transferred into their chart which greatly improves efficiency and patient safety because it reduces transcription errors and reduces charting time from hours to minutes – freeing up more time for our team to care for patients.

One of the most innovative new additions to the Meditech system is the integration of NEWS 2 – also known as the National Early Warning System. NEWS 2 is an early warning score system that is used to identify and respond to patients at risk of deteriorating. Vital signs including respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, temperature, systolic blood pressure, pulse rate and level of consciousness are measured and aggregated into an overall score.  A high score indicates that a patient’s condition varies from the norm. Warning signals built into the new monitors immediately notify staff, so that appropriate action can be taken.  In life-threatening situations where sudden changes in vital signs require an immediate response, more lives will be saved.  

This year, due to COVID-19, the need to replace out-of-date medical equipment is even greater, as some purchases planned for the future had to be expedited to care for an increased number of patients and their urgent needs. The entire cost of new tools and technology must be covered by donations from people like you.