Patients benefit from updated technology and better functional design in new, donor-funded bladder scanner
When the Hospital replaces patient care equipment that is at the end of its life, newer versions often offer significant advancements in technology and design, and that almost always adds up to improvements in patient care.
The new bladder scanner is no exception. The display on the old scanner was limited to a numeric data reader and graphics that resembled those of a 1980s video game. The new machine is equipped with a state-of-the-art 3D display that shows a real-time image. This improvement allows staff to see the bladder for optimal placement of the scanning wand, which results in increased accuracy of the scan. In addition, the new scanner sits on a mobile stand made of a very light-weight material that is much easier and quieter to move around.
“It’s a very simple design improvement with significant benefit,” explains Carrie Anderson, GGH ICU Clinical Educator. “The previous scanner and stand would rattle and rumble so loudly that it would wake patients out of their restorative slumber as we moved it down the hall. Nurses started to take the scanner off the stand altogether and carry it to the bedside to avoid waking patients.
“Nurses have greater confidence wheeling the new scanner up beside a patient. Patients often take notice of modern equipment, which we hope increases their confidence in the care they receive,” says Carrie.
Bladder scanners are used throughout the Hospital. In the Bob Ireland Family ICU and Stepdown Unit, they are used frequently. Patients who have suffered a stroke, are recovering from surgery, or are taking certain medications may have impaired bladder function and may not be able to empty their bladder effectively. For these patients, nurses monitor urine output and also perform regular bladder scans to check the functioning of the patient’s bladder to determine if intervention is necessary.
“There are health risks to patients when they are not able to empty their bladder, but there are also risks involved with some of the interventions,” said Carrie. “An accurate reading allows us to make the best decision, including avoidance of unnecessary interventions and associated risks.”
The previous scanner was nearing the end of its life for service, and replacement parts were practically obsolete. That is why a new scanner became a funding priority.
Through generous donations made by the Hospital’s caring supporters, the nurses of the Hospital’s ICU and Stepdown Unit are now better equipped to care for the needs of their patients with the risk of impaired bladder function.