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New ICU beds support patient care

Bolingbrook – In an effort to improve preventative care, Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital has invested in new beds for its intensive care unit. Hospital officials hope the new technology will increase caregivers’ abilities to provide high-quality care for their patients.

The beds feature touch screen computers, pre-recorded clinical phrases in 24 languages, sound therapy, protocol reminders, front wheel drive, and electric brakes for efficient transport. Each of the 12 InTouch models costs $30,000 and is produced by Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Stryker Corp.

“While these beds sound like a small part of the patient experience, they really are a major advancement in care delivery,” said Kathy Mitchell, vice president/chief nursing officer at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital. “Anytime we can improve safety by investing in new technology and evidence-based practices, we will do that.”

Patient benefits include a pressure-relieving mattress and retractable frames to help prevent bedsores. A bed exit system alerts caregivers if a patient attempts to leave the bed without help.

According to Jamie Rowden, the hospital’s quality director, the beds are an investment in preventative care.

“It costs more to treat patient falls, ventilator-associated pneumonia and pressure ulcers than to prevent them,” Rowden said. “These quality measures are at the forefront of patient care.”

The beds’ sound therapy allows caregivers to soothe patients with music or nature sounds. The on-bed computer can ask the patient key clinical phrases such as “Are you in pain?” in any of 24 languages.

“Being in the ICU is anxiety-producing enough,” Mitchell said. “Imagine the barrier for a critical care patient who speaks a language their caregiver does not understand. The pre-programmed messages and language options featured on these beds will go a long way for the physician or nurse in charge of assessing and comforting patients with such language barriers.”

In addition to the numerous benefits for patients, the beds also include features that help caregivers. A protocol reminder and an advanced scale system helps nurses organize and document their day. The Zoom Motorized Drive System, electric brake, BackSmart pivot and ergonomic side rails reduce physical strain on the nurses while increasing patient comfort. Featuring front-wheel drive capabilities, the beds can travel up to 3.6 miles per hour, cutting patient transport times.

“The combined weight of the patient, bed and equipment can make transporting the patient to tests through multiple levels of the hospital challenging for the caregiver,” said Brenda Lumpkin, nurse manager of the intensive care unit. “These beds make ease of transport possible and – because they are less jerky – reduce fatigue for the transporter and risk of injury for critical care patients.”