Donors help caregivers keep a watchful eye on Guelph General’s most critically ill patients

The new centralized cardiac monitoring system has arrived and is now in use.

Generous donors have made sure that Guelph General Hospital’s most critically ill patients receive the best possible monitoring by funding a new, centralized cardiac monitoring system at a cost of just over $1 million.

For decades, these systems have been used in hospitals as a best-in-class practice for observing heart activity in critically ill patients.
Guelph General’s previous system was well over ten years old and at end-of-life for technology upgrades and support, so replacing it became mandatory.

The system allows doctors and nurses to closely track the heart performance of their most critically ill patients — patients who are recovering from heart attacks, strokes, major surgery and serious injuries – no matter where the patient is in the Hospital.

Individual monitors at the patient’s bedside transmit a signal to a centralized monitoring station that is watched 24-7 by a dedicated technologist.

If the technologist sees anything concerning, they quickly notify the patient’s team of caregivers for immediate help.

The continuous stream of vital signs data becomes part of each patient’s health record. This means that past data can be reviewed at any time by new care providers, or when that history is important for future care decisions.

Our new system is being used in the Bob Ireland Family Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the ICU Step-down Unit; the Linamar Emergency Department; the Post Anesthesia Care Unit; the Rotary Club of Guelph Family Birthing Unit; and the Endoscopy Surgery Room.

In total, 76 patient monitors were purchased, replacing 66 of the older ones, plus adding five each to the Emergency Department and to the Hospital’s Critical Care program; 176 caregivers received training on the new system.

As with all equipment that is replaced at the Hospital, the new centralized cardiac monitoring system has many technological advancements over its predecessor that lead to better patient care.

Things like: more alarm levels to notify caregivers when patient’s vitals fall outside of normal ranges; better data about breathing than was available before; almost no ‘warm-up’ time when the monitor is connected to a patient meaning data starts to display and record nearly immediately. So in short, the new system provides more information more quickly so that patients can receive the best care possible.

There are also many new features that make the system easier to use for our caregivers including higher screen resolution which makes data easier to see and read, touch screens, and data menus that are easier to navigate. In addition, the monitors are more compact and light weight. All of our Hospital’s hard-working caregivers deserve a bit of a break wherever it can be found!

Foundation CEO Suzanne Bone shared a fun fact: “This is the third centralized cardiac monitoring system that we have fundraised for during my 30-year career at GGH!” She added, “As always, I’m humbled by the support of our community – donors truly save lives and improve health.”