Recent technology and equipment purchases at SSM Health St. Francis Hospital were made possible due to the generosity of donors to the St. Francis Hospital Foundation.

This year’s equipment support, valued at over $230,000, assisted patients across the spectrum of hospital services. The 2018 investments included equipment for the medical/surgical floor, obstetrics unit, surgery, imaging department and the medical group clinic located on the hospital campus.

Patient lift chair

A new patient lift chair may have been the lowest priced item supported during the year but is the one most appreciated by the nurses on the medical/surgical floor.

According to Andrea Sandusky-Ury, nurse manager of the med/surg unit, “The Tru Rize chair makes it easier for our nurses to promote early mobility in patients who are hospitalized, which helps prevent complications for our patients such as pneumonia and atelectasis.”

Patients find it comfortable and easy to work plus there is a built-in fall alarm that plugs into the call light system which provides a degree of safety.

OB syringe pumps

The OB department also wanted to enhance the safety and accuracy of patient medications with the addition of three Medfusion wireless syringe pumps. The new pumps delivery small doses of medication to sick newborn and pediatric patients.

Previous to the new pumps, adult-use infusion pumps were used and manually programmed for the concentration and dosage of the smaller patient. The Medfusion pumps automatically figure the dose based on the newborn’s weight. The new pumps greatly decrease the likelihood of error when providing medication or fluids to our pediatric patients.

Ultrasound machines

Two ultrasound units were subsidized through donations; one to the surgery department and the second for the imaging department.

The ultrasound machine in the surgery suite improves pain control and patient satisfaction for surgical patients with minimized narcotic requirements.

According to Dr. Darren Wrede, anesthesiologist, there are other benefits as well. “Ultrasound guidance is the standard of care for nerve blocks. The new machine improves safety and nerve block success compared to the previous equipment. The new machine also allows us to save images to patient charts, which helps with follow-up care.”

Ultrasound-guided blocks can minimize or eliminate post-op pain as well as allow the surgical procedure to be performed without the need for general anesthesia which expedites patient care and discharge.

The Phillips EPIC 7G ultrasound machine for the imaging department was a replacement for a 13-year-old unit. The new technology allowed the department to add cardiac echocardiograms for pediatric patients as a new offering. The probes for this unit would be interchangeable with the ultrasound probes used in surgery.

“This new technology allows for improved visualization and diagnosis and provides a new service to image the hearts of children and babies born with murmurs,” said Paul Shandley, imaging services director. “The machine allows for improved quality and timeliness, and convenient care for our patients.”

Digital x-ray

The new Carestream DRZ Ascent digital x-ray unit replaced 24-year-old equipment. The new machine, available in the medical group’s main clinic on the west, has digital technology which allows for speed, improved image resolution and lower radiation exposure for patients.

“This allows for a safer environment for our patients,” stated Shandley. “Due to the improved efficiency, we will improve throughput, patient satisfaction and physician satisfaction.”

Andrea Anderson, director of physician practice administration, echoed the benefits of the newer technology. “The quality and turnaround time are amazing. The physicians and patients are very pleased.”

Investment in community

The foundation also provided financial backing for the completion of the Preschool and Child Care Center building project which opened in August. Raising the total to over $823,000 which has been donated by the St. Francis Hospital Foundation for construction and equipment projects during the year.

“Since the foundation was founded more than 40 years ago, it has been a vibrant and vital part of the healthcare team in Maryville and northwest Missouri,” said Mike Baumgartner, the foundation’s executive director. “We are grateful for the community’s investment in the well-being of everyone who come through our doors.”

The St. Francis Hospital Foundation was established to help the hospital meet its objective of providing modern healthcare services for area residents. The foundation is a non-profit organization. Its main purpose is to seek financial gifts to help fund hospital services, programs and equipment.

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