Families can track surgery patients with online tool
March 1, 2023
MONCTON, NB – Horizon Health Network has launched a new online tool to help families and loved ones track the location of a patient during the surgery process. The Moncton Hospital is one of the hospitals that will use the new surgery tracking tool. It was developed in conjunction with Service New Brunswick, according to Horizon’s Christa Wheeler-Thorne (pictured).
The tool gives a patient who is having elective surgery a unique patient ID. The patient can share that number with family members or a designated person to see where they are in the process, including in the operating room, receiving diagnostic imaging, being sent to the emergency department or being assigned to a specific unit.
“COVID certainly did derail it a bit, but it also further validated the need for this, because without families in the hospital, and volunteers around, the calls continued to climb,” Wheeler-Thorne told The Canadian Press. “So, the patients really are the ones that drove the need for this kind of technology.”
She said there has always been a desire by families and designated support persons (DSP) to understand how a person might be doing while in the hospital, even before COVID-19.
The service is being piloted in The Moncton Hospital and the Sackville Memorial Hospital, but Wheeler-Thorne said there are plans to expand it to other facilities.
“We are talking about having it communicate with an electronic documentation platform, so that’s the next phase of this … and there is a plan to have it go live in the other sites within Horizon,” she said.
The tool can be used on any device, including a smartphone or a tablet, according to Horizon.
On average, these two facilities have 45 planned elective surgeries every day.
The data is automatically refreshed every 10 minutes. The platforms, with the help of Service New Brunswick, have been integrated so that as the patient moves through the hospital system, the relevant tracking information flows to the new tool.
The health authority did not say how much the tool cost to create.
“This really wasn’t an additional workload for the staff,” Wheeler-Thorne said.
It’s the second technological announcement the health authority has been a part of in recent months. Patients can see their blood test results online through MyHealthNB.