A Younger Force Coping with Aging Challenges
Sitting on the coastline of northeast England, Sunderland is an important port city with a population of over 275,000. Since 2016, residents aged 65 and above in Sunderland have surpassed those of the younger generation.
Wandering around the city, ambulance sirens can be heard frequently, a reminder that Sunderland is faced with the increasing challenges of an aging population and the complex new demands on medical treatments – just like many other mid-sized cities in the UK.
As the largest and most prestigious local hospital, Sunderland Royal has been providing a substantial range of specialized service to around 860,000 people, many of whom are from outside of the Sunderland area, for decades. But now the demand is rapidly expanding. Hospital staff are struggling to handle the heavy workload and the shortage of rooms and medical resources due to the increasing number of older patients.
Although they try to remain organized and dynamic as they have always been, the increased demand necessitated a more innovative and efficient approach.
Medical staff in Sunderland Royal Hospital.
The idea of building a high-tech ICU system began in 2012. The hospital decided to utilize a fast-track modular construction approach to build a new Integrated Critical Care Unit (ICCU), where every unit was designed individually before being integrated into the whole system.
The system consists of 18 single-bed units. Each unit is isolated from one another and completely soundproofed. The clinicians' side is designed with a special ceiling-to-floor electronic glass wall to provide visibility, but can be turned opaque to protect the patient's privacy just by flipping a switch. Every design for the ICCU – the layout, the technology applied, the equipment used – is intended to reduce the risk of cross-infections and to secure a safe ICU environment.
The unique modular construction process of the Sunderland Royal Hospital ICCU.
The electronic glass wall can be turned opaque when necessary.
"When we were designing the units, we didn't just want to recreate what we already had on a bigger scale. We wanted to do something different by designing all side-rooms that helped with infection control and with privacy and dignity," said Dave McNicholas, the ICCU Manager of the hospital.
While the design approach was set, a technical problem arose – For ICUs, caregivers are always struggling to find a balance between providing the best care and reducing unnecessary entries into the ICU bed unit.
To protect patient safety and prevent cross-infections, Sunderland Royal Hospital requires their nursing staff to do all paper work outside the units. However, care needs to be provided at bedside. Is there a better patient monitoring solution that allows them to have it both ways?
After looking around the market, Dr. Paul McAndrew, the consultant of Sunderland Royal Hospital in Anesthetics & Intensive Care Medicine, found the solution – the Mindray BeneVision N22 patient monitor can meet all their needs in terms of patient data collection, storage, display and analysis. In alignment with their dynamic work style, the device serves as a vigorous and efficient solution to the heavy workload of the ICCU.
The device covers a wide range of physiological measurements, even some innovative parameters such as rSO2. And these patient data which were traditionally noted down on casebooks, can now be safely organized and stored on the hospital's internal network – makes it easy to review.
More importantly, the product possesses one of his favorite features – the unique rotatable screen that supports both portrait and landscape display. The innovative portrait mode allows more parameter waveforms to be displayed, and supports a split screen that can show waveforms and infographics simultaneously.
The 22-inch large, multi-touch and -colored screen of BeneVision N22 can switch between portrait and landscape display freely.
Besides, BeneVision N22 supports a secondary screen as an additional display, which is exactly the same size as the main screen – 22-inches, and provides multi-touch gesture control, brightness auto-adjustment, and alarm light. It perfectly solves the hospital's problem – the secondary screen is placed right against the window for nursing staff to check through the glass wall at any point. Even when the glass turns opaque, the vivid-color display enables numbers and letters to be just as clearly readable.
Sunderland Royal Hospital first cooperated with Mindray in 2011, when many industries were beginning to embrace the bright future of a "Smart World".
As the technical lead of the hospital, Dr. Paul McAndrew realized that they need more than a device with advanced functionality. They need it to be intelligent too, to catch up to the young and fast-moving trends, and to secure the best possible outcome of their state-of-the-art ICCU.
This idea then inspired BeneVision N Series in many aspects, particularly in the development of the Clinical Assistive Applications (CAA), a series of intelligent built-in tools that can automatically visualize complex clinical data into simple view.
For example, HemoSight is designed for illustrating hemodynamic parameters. And the SepsisSight can help identify the early symptoms of sepsis. Other applications such as ST Graphic, BoA Dashboard and Early Warning Score (EWS) are all designed to respectively target different departments, ranging from ICU to OR, ER and Coronary Care Unit.
Remarkably, the applications are even able to suggest a therapeutic decision model based on intelligent data analysis over related parameters. By referring to the model suggested, clinicians can make confident clinical decisions in a highly efficient way, thus saving more time for patient care.
Satisfying the needs for intelligence and efficiency, BeneVision N22 offers Sunderland Royal Hospital the key to a smarter medical world. Now, the hospital is looking into a brighter future where this long-standing partnership with Mindray will continue and bring more intelligent and younger technological power that will reshape the prospect of healthcare.