An ambitious 18-month project to bring cardiac monitoring at Withybush Hospital in Pembrokeshire into the 21st century has been completed.
Sixty-five state-of-the-art networked cardiac monitors have been installed across eight clinical areas with six fully integrated diagnostic central stations.
The clinical pathway starts at the Emergency Department where patients are admitted onto a cardiac monitoring station. The full patient electrocardiogram (ECG) demographics are continually recording and every second of a patient’s ECG demographic data is seamlessly uploaded to the central station. This includes the time spent in A&E and the journey between departments, as if the patient had been in the cardiac ward the whole time. This detailed timeline of ECG data and events can be analysed at any time by cardiologists. Previously, the data would have only been available from when the patient arrived at the cardiac ward.
The departments are linked by medical networks so that any monitor can be viewed in any department from the cardiac ward central stations or any monitor on the network. The cardiologist can view a patient monitor from a mobile phone or tablet from anywhere in the world.
In addition to the above, we have installed the UK’s largest RF telemetry system. Patients who are mobile can be monitored in detail from the cardiac central station without being restricted to a bed area by cables. Patients are connected to a small telemetry transmitter the size of a mobile phone, which they carry around with them. They have the flexibility to meet relatives on the ground floor or outside the front of the hospital whilst being monitored at the central station in the cardiac ward.
Professor Chris Hopkins, Head of Clinical Engineering, said: “This new system allows for real-time patient data to be monitored, ensuring high quality, rapid and flexible patient care and support. “I’m very proud of the work undertaken by the Clinical Engineering team during what has been a very difficult period.
Dr Nikolaos Anatoliotakis, Consultant Cardiologist, said: “This remote cardiac monitoring system has been the biggest innovation in patient monitoring for our hospital since a very long time. The impact upon patient care is great as this allows doctors and nurses to obtain real time ECG data all over the hospital. We’re all very proud of this benchmark innovation and would like to thank everyone for all of the hard work that was put into this project.”