Breckenridge Texan

Stephens Memorial Hospital implements facility upgrades

Stephens Memorial Hospital implements facility upgrades
July 20
10:48 2021

Stephens Memorial Hospital is in the middle of three major upgrades, according to a news release from the hospital.

“Everything may look normal from the outside, but inside SMH is a flurry of activity,” Chris Curtis, director of business development at SMH, said in the news release. “While we have made many cosmetic upgrades the past few years, the current upgrades will further increase our ability to provide excellent care to our patients in a safe, efficient manner,”

The first, and from a patient perspective likely the most important, upgrade is the installation of new individualized heating and cooling units for all patient rooms. That means each patient can control their own environment’s temperature.

Additionally, each unit will be contained to that one room, so air will only be circulating through each individual patient room, versus the current, outdated system that serves multiple rooms at a time. From an infection control view that will be extremely beneficial at containing any air-borne pathogens and possible cross-contamination between patients, Curtis said.

The second upgrade underway is a new telemetry “heart/cardiac monitoring” system. The new system allows for more intense monitoring of patients as well as the ability to monitor more patients than the previous system. It enables care providers and nurses to remotely monitor patients and get real-time readings to help in assessing patients and developing a plan of care. Also, the addition of telemetry monitors in several spaces throughout SMH will allow for more clinical staff to monitor patients.

The third upgrade is a complete replacement of the hospital’s nurse call system, the buttons patients press in their rooms when they need assistance. The new nurse call system will expand patients’ ability to request help. Additional nurse call buttons will be added in restrooms and in other patient care areas. The upgrade will enable patients to request help when needed from more access points and help eliminate any risks of falls within the hospital.

“We are able to make all of these long-needed replacements due to funds provided to hospitals and other healthcare facilities during the COVID pandemic,” Curtis said. “The funds were made available and distributed among facilities to enable them to increase their ability to care for patients and mitigate the spread of COVID. We are grateful to be able to make these upgrades and continue our vision of being the standard of excellence in rural healthcare.”

Cutline, top photo: The hallways of Stephens Memorial Hospital show signs of current upgrades that are being implemented throughout the facility. The hospital is upgrading the air conditioning in patient rooms, installing a new heart/cardiac monitoring system and replacing the nurse call system. (Photos courtesy of Stephens Memorial Hospital)

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