Cardiac specialists in Kelowna will now be able to monitor heart rhythms of patients at Boundary Hospital in real time, improving the quality of treatment and care.
The Grand Forks Hospital Auxiliary donated over $188,000 towards the complete purchase of a Spacelabs Cardiac Monitoring System for the hospital in Grand Forks and according to Cindy Crane, acute health service director with Interior Health, the new state-of-the-art technology will give immediate remote access to patients’ vital signs in Boundary Hospital to the catheterization laboratory in Kelowna.
“The Spacelabs system has the capacity to actually show in real-time, the cardiac rhythms of a patient that’s in (Boundary) Hospital here in the trauma bay, or in one of our cardiac beds. The cardiologists at Kelowna General Hospital can view it,” explained Crane. “So while the patient is here, a physician can call and say, ‘I think I need to send this patient to (Kelowna). They’re a cardiac patient that needs either interventional cardiology or a cardiac specialist.’”
Crane said the specialist in Kelowna can then look up the patient’s name on their computer, view the patient’s current state and even see an abnormality that happened hours ago.
“As long as you were attached to one of our monitors, (specialists) can view it say, from six hours ago … they can go into that window of time and view the cardiac monitor rhythm.”
Crane said Boundary Hospital staff recognized that some of the cardiac systems were starting to fail, which led to a plea to the auxiliary.
“What we didn’t have was all of our beds being shown on a central monitor, that is one central place for nurses to look at one time, at all their patients, and so we were most grateful to this incredibly generous donation from the auxiliary and the community,” Crane said
All registered and licensed practical nurses at Boundary Hospital have been trained in how to use the system and the auxiliary had no qualms providing all the funding for the new equipment,
“There was no hesitation when we put that motion (to donate the money) forward, it was just made,” explained Grand Forks Hospital Auxiliary president Carole Richmond. “Money came strictly from sales from the Grand Forks Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop and we made a poster and put it in the store window thanking the community. By shopping at our store, this is what their money is buying.”
Crane said that the cardiologist’s ability to view cardiac rhythms from Kelowna also has the potential to reduce unnecessary travel for patients.
“Does the patient need to get to (Kelowna General Hospital) quickly or can they wait or do they need to be transferred to Kelowna? It can actually reduce unnecessary travel to see a specialist. That’s a positive thing as well for our community,” she said.
Both Richmond and Crane said everything seems to be coming together with the new cardiac monitoring equipment and a helicopter pad that is being built at Boundary Hospital.
Crane estimates that the pad will be completed in the next six weeks.
“We will have our helipad, that will be ready to go, so those cardiac patients, or trauma patients for that matter, that are monitored, can quickly be helicoptered to the trauma centre, which is in Kelowna as well,” Crane said.