The stretcher area in Diagnostic Imaging (X-ray) is a busy place with patients coming from the Emergency Department, inpatient rooms, and other areas of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. To make it more of a quiet area, it’s tucked away from the busy hallways. The drawback though is that staff members in the tech area do not have a clear view of the patients.
“In the few minutes that they are waiting, if they need any help, we couldn’t see them,” said Julie Grant, Charge Technologist of General and Interventional Radiology in the Diagnostic Imaging department.
In most situations, the obvious solution would be to put in a window or glass partition. However, it wasn’t possible in this case – the cinder-block walls in X-ray are lined with lead to contain radiation from the imaging machines.
“There is one spot in the wall where it would probably work, but even so, we wouldn’t be able to see the whole area,” said Grant.
A Volunteer Association / Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation Family CARE Grant helped fund a more innovative solution. It was while the team was visiting the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie that they noted the radiology area there had a similar problem. They’d solved it by installing a video “window” – a monitor connected to a display in the tech area. It’s much like a video baby monitor you might have at home, though with higher-res images and better quality for 24/7 use.
The new video window proved useful immediately.
“Within hours of installing it, we saw an elderly patient try to get off her stretcher unassisted,” Grant said. Staff members were able to rush out to help before she suffered a possible fall. “I said, ‘Right there, that’s why this monitor is so important.’”
The video window, which was installed in early 2015, would not have been possible without the Family CARE grant. “The Family CARE Grant is an awesome idea because it’s all focused on the patient. It allows us to get the little things that before we could only dream of, and improve patient care,” Grant said.
“If it saves just one person from falling, I think it’s worth it – and it has already.”
You can help fund Family CARE Grant projects like this one that make a big difference to patient care. Call Deb or Lorna at the Health Sciences Foundation’s Donation Centre today at (807) 345-4673 and tell them you’d like to donate specifically to the Family CARE Grant program. You can also make your donation online at www.healthsciencesfoundation.ca – thank you!