Mackenzie Health to install ‘smart’ systems at patient bedsides
July 2, 2019
RICHMOND HILL, ONT. – Mackenzie Health is investing in “smart” interactive bedside systems for patient rooms at its new hospital, called Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital. Currently under construction, the 1.2-million square foot hospital is scheduled to open in late 2020.
When that happens, each of the 350 beds at the hospital – mostly in private rooms – will feature bedside computers, along with a 60” monitor on the wall of every room and a tablet computer right outside the door.
Rather than being standalone systems, each component will be integrated with the hospital’s Epic information system and will offer useful information to patients and clinicians. Altogether, the multi-faceted audio-visual technology is expected to raise hospital efficiency and improve safety, quality and patient outcomes.
Mackenzie Health is buying the solution from GetWellNetwork, of Bethesda, Md. It’s the first Canadian installation of the company’s GetWell Inpatient system, which has been implemented at healthcare sites across the United States and around the world. FlexITy, of Richmond Hill, Ont., is the Canadian distributor for GetWellHealth in Canada and will be assisting with the implementation.
“Many hospitals have bedside systems, but they’re mostly for entertainment, while a few have nurse-call and meal ordering,” said Richard Tam, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, Mackenzie Health. “This new system brings all that together, and then some.”
In particular, he pointed to the connection with the hospital EMR. “There is integration with the clinical side, and that will be the differentiator.” Tam pointed out that the GetWellHealth system will display patient charts to doctors and nurses at the bedside – not only can clinicians get quick access to information, but they can also discuss results and images with patients.
Moreover, educational modules will be available to patients in several languages. In addition to English, Chinese and Russian are popular languages for patients in the Mackenzie Health catchment area, and the educational systems will inform patients of what they can expect during their hospital stays – including upcoming procedures and medications – and what will be needed afterwards in a comfortable language.
Mary-Agnes Wilson, executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief nurse executive, Mackenzie Health, explained that once patients are settled in their rooms, their nurses will provide them with customized education modules.
“Nurses can assign packages tailored to their patients’ needs,” said Wilson. “These educational packages will contain important information about things like exercise, diet and medications. We see them as educational prescriptions.”
She noted the nurses and health care professionals will be able to see whether their patients have looked at the educational materials, and for how long. “The goal is to ensure we’re helping all patients access important information about their health and wellness, while also giving them the opportunity to access entertainment, when they choose. They can also take control of their environment, order meals and much more.”
The tablet computers mounted outside the patient rooms will provide useful information to clinicians and families entering – such as whether the patient is under infection precaution or is at risk of falling.
And the large, 60-inch monitors on the inside walls of the rooms will offer a variety of information and entertainment programming. They, too, will be integrated with the Epic HIS, and will greet the patient with a welcome message after checking in. They can tell the patient who the attending physician is, and who their nurse and healthcare team is.
Mackenzie Health will start testing the system at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital in mid-2020, which will also have many of the same features after 2020. A lot of fine-tuning needs to be done before the rollout at the new hospital. “We have a lot of work to do on the software and integration side to ensure that we’re best supporting patients, families and healthcare professionals and teams,” said Tam.