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Mercy Hospital Installs New Pulse Oximetry Patient Monitoring System

August 18, 2014

Hospital staff from Respiratory Care, Nursing, IT, and several other departments gathered to celebrate the 2014 National Patient Safety Humanitarian Award presented to Mercy Hospital for its commitment to patient safety through the use of a new patient monitoring system. Pictured above, from left, are: Steve Nolte, RT, RRT; Mercy President & CEO C.J. Urlaub; Frank Guido, RT; Julie Womack, RN; Mercy COO John Herman; Mijon Scott, RN; Jon Carlson, RT, RRT-NPS; Dr. Thomas Raab; Ondrea Bennefield, RN; John Black of Masimo Corp.; Dave Ciesla, RT, RRT, RPSGT; Irena Mychajliw; and Kim Salefske.

Hospital staff from Respiratory Care, Nursing, IT, and several other departments gathered to celebrate the 2014 National Patient Safety Humanitarian Award presented to Mercy Hospital for its commitment to patient safety through the use of a new patient monitoring system. Pictured above, from left, are: Steve Nolte, RT, RRT; Mercy President & CEO C.J. Urlaub; Frank Guido, RT; Julie Womack, RN; Mercy COO John Herman; Mijon Scott, RN; Jon Carlson, RT, RRT-NPS; Dr. Thomas Raab; Ondrea Bennefield, RN; John Black of Masimo Corp.; Dave Ciesla, RT, RRT, RPSGT; Irena Mychajliw; and Kim Salefske.

With an ongoing commitment to quality care and patient safety, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo has installed the Masimo Patient SafetyNet™ system throughout its patient units. The system is a continuous patient monitoring system using advanced pulse-oximetry technology with direct clinical notification.

Alarms Triggers When Patients Require Attention

The system, which measures pulse rate, oxygen levels and respiratory function 24/7, is typically reserved for critically ill patients. However, after conducting a 30-month study on the hospital’s 64-bed 6 McAuley West Unit, Jon Carlson, Mercy Hospital’s director of Respiratory Care, and the hospital’s Patient Safety Monitoring Team concluded that continuous patient monitoring can benefit all patients and potentially save lives.

As a result, the hospital invested $1.62 million to expand the system throughout the hospital. With the SafetyNet system, each pulse oximeter at the bedside is linked to a central monitoring system at the nurses station. If a patient’s condition requires attention, alarms are triggered and nurses are paged to the patient’s room.

“Comparing results from our 15-month baseline study period to our 15-month trial period, we saw an 89% reduction in all-cause mortality,” noted Carlson. “This new monitoring system gives us the opportunity to further enhance patient safety, improve outcomes, and reduce costs by avoiding preventable patient transfers to the ICU.”

He especially acknowledged the support of the hospital administration, medical staff and Patient Care Services, including COO John Herman; Chief Nursing Officer and VP of Nursing Kathleen Guarino, RN; 6 West Nurse Manager Ondrea Bennefield, RN; and VP of Medical Affairs Timothy Gabryel, MD.

Patients Monitored 24/7

A key feature of the SafetyNet technology is its ability to read through low perfusion (diminished blood flow). To monitor pulse rate and oxygen levels in the blood, patients wear a simple adhesive sensor, similar to a bandaid, on their fingertip, and some patients may wear another sensor on their neck to track breathing.  Patients at Mercy Hospital are monitored 24/7 throughout their hospital stay.

Better Pain Management

“This system is also helping us to better manage our patients’ pain,” said Kathleen Guarino, “It provides a ‘safety net’ by constantly monitoring our patients’ oxygen saturation and breathing, which is especially important for our patients using narcotic pain medication.”

Mercy Hospital Awarded 2014 National Patient Safety Humanitarian Award

Earlier this year, Jon Carlson and Mercy Hospital were among four honorees in the nation presented with the 2014 National Patient Safety Humanitarian Award during the National Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit in Irvine, CA. Former President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker at the conference and was on hand to personally congratulate Jon and his team. In addition, Jon Carlson and Mercy Hospital’s award-winning achievements were featured in the cover story of the AARC (American Association for Respiratory Care) Times magazine, May issue.

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