Donors give 2500 hours per year of bedside nursing back to patients

Thanks to you, nurses and physicians will have vital information right at the bedside.

Time spent searching for paper files or returning to the nurses’ station for a shared vital signs monitor will be better spent at the bedside caring for their patients. It may seem a small thing but can have a big impact on the care provided.

All patients in our Hospital will have their vital signs monitored at some point during their stay. Monitoring a patient’s temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen level is a fundamental component of care. These numbers give a snapshot of a patient’s condition and help to identify whether someone is getting better or not. Accurate vital signs are also important to identify the proper treatment required at any point in time.

“We can never have enough vital signs monitors,” said Kim Towes, Acting Senior Director, Patient Services.

On average, a patient will have their vital signs checked four to six times in a 24-hour period. In other situations, such as following surgery, vital signs will be checked even more frequently.

Currently, the Hospital has one monitor for every three or four patients. Nurses frequently report that they don’t have enough vital signs monitors to do their work. An observational study conducted last year found that, on average, it takes a nurse three to four minutes to locate and clean a vital sign machine. When you multiply the number of nurses working in a 24-hour period by the number of times they take vital signs and clean the machine in between patients, that equates to a minimum of seven hours of nursing time in a 24-hour period. Over a year, that is about 2,500 hours of nursing time spent away from the bedside!

Towes explains, “That time gained can be spent providing essential nursing care, comforting a patient and their family, or simply listening to a patient during their most vulnerable times. This time is invaluable. Those extra minutes spent with a patient will leave a lasting impression.”

With the study findings, the Hospital decided vital signs monitors at every bedside was a top priority for funding in 2018. Funding was required to purchase 86 additional monitors.

Because of you, our caring donors, vital signs monitors at every bedside is now possible.

The Foundation’s Circle of Life membership generously pledged $325,000 in funding for this important priority, $58,000 was raised through community events, in memoriams and individual donations, and the remaining $75,000 was received through mail and online donations made in response to the Foundation’s 2018 seasonal fundraising campaign.

Because of your generosity, nurses and physicians will be able to respond more rapidly to critical patient situations. Patient safety will also be improved since dedicated monitors help with infection control. Most importantly, you have given patients more time and care from their nurses.

“This project is a great example of how our donors help our Hospital’s healthcare team provide the best possible care and experience for our patients. We’re so grateful,” said Suzanne Bone, CEO of The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital.