New Cardiac Monitors in 2B Improve Patient Care and Safety

Anton Viojen, a Registered Nurse on 2B, and Rob Srigley, Chair of the Employee Giving Committee, with one of three new cardiac monitors on the unit, improving patient care. “We’re not looking around the unit to find one – you just walk into a room, and it’s right there.”

Three new cardiac/vital signs monitors in 2B are improving patient care in several ways, ultimately leading to better monitoring of patients and allowing staff to spend more time caring for patients. The 2B unit is a specialized medical unit for patients with respiratory difficulties and illnesses including cardiopulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, and respiratory infections.

“Having these monitors at the bedside has made a huge impact on patient care,” said Deborah Luby, Manager of 2B. “Staff can do continuous monitoring of patients with a respiratory illness.”

Two of the monitors were purchased thanks to a Volunteer Association/Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation Family CARE Grant, which helps fund employee-driven ideas for improving patient care. The Employee Giving Committee purchased the third with proceeds from its Christmas fundraiser last year.

“We set up a booth outside the cafeteria and collected donations from employees passing by,” said Robert Srigley, Chair of the Employee Giving Committee. “We asked if they wanted to make a small donation as Christmas present to our patients.”

And what a present it was. The monitors measure crucial vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels. Many patients with respiratory difficulties need to be monitored more often, which makes these dedicated wall-mounted units so important. Not only is it handy for nurses who do not have to go find one of the portable units, it also reduces the clank and clatter of moving equipment – especially at night – and helps with infection control.

“We’ve placed two of the monitors in our negative-pressure isolation rooms, reserved for our high-risk patients,” Luby said. “If we are screening for tuberculosis or that type of illness, staff aren’t bringing equipment in and out of rooms, so that will help prevent the spread of infection.”

Anton Vidjen, a Registered Nurse on the unit, said that the monitors are handy to have at the bedside, and makes patient care more efficient. “We’re not looking around the unit to find one – you just walk into a room, and it’s right there.”

“It all comes down to patient care and patient safety, and allowing our nurses to spend more time at the bedside,” Luby said. “The addition of these monitors has been a great help.”

But there is still room for more improvements. “I would really like to have these in all of our isolation rooms,” Luby said. There are 14 isolation rooms on the unit altogether.

That’s where the community can help. Your donation to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation helps purchase vital equipment like this to improve patient care. Donations to our General Healthcare Fund support the Family CARE Grant program that funded two of these machines. You can help reach the goal of a cardiac monitor in every room. Call Lorna or Deborah at the Health Sciences Foundation Donation Centre to make your donation at (807) 345-4673 or go online at For more information about Family CARE grants, visit