Case Study | May 21, 2006

Collaboration with vendor helps reestablish hospital's status as preeminent critical-care provider.

Parkview's ability to provide comprehensive, high-quality and cost-effective healthcare services continues to grow through committed corporate partnerships.

 Things are looking up at Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center, Riverside, CA’s only remaining nonprofit hospital. Vital signs for core services — emergency, maternal-child, general and orthopedic surgery, and seniors — are strong, and getting stronger.
The 193-bed facility's staff has 900 full- and part-time workers, including 350 physicians in 42 specialties and subspecialties. Together they provide comfort and critical care to Riverside's diversified urban population of nearly 300,000 people.
 But Parkview had a serious need: its bedside patient monitors were aging, replacement parts were scarce, and previous vendor support — a sore spot for many — was sketchy. State-of-the-art systems were needed for the hospital's new eight-bed Definitive Observation Unit (DOU), or step-down unit, which was slated to open in April 2005. The DOU serves patients who do not, or no longer require intensive care but remain too ill to be placed on regular medical/surgical floors. Parkview's ER also needed patient-monitoring system upgrades to keep pace with the acute needs of patients at nearby convalescent facilities.
Late in 2004, Parkview contacted and met with Fukuda Denshi, a long-time manufacturer of medical instruments used to monitor cardiovascular and respiratory function, and QRS Medical, the company's local representative. Moved by the magnitude of the community-wide effort to revitalize Parkview and, seeing it as a mutually beneficial situation, the company offered to take on a larger role in supporting the rebuilding effort.
By January 2005, Parkview administrators and board members, with input from key staff, selected the company’s bedside systems because of their proven track record for reliability, flexibility and ease of use. Most important, QRS Medical, the manufacturer’s representative, was local and committed to providing customer and technical support 24/7.
“Starting with the installation and throughout initial training of nearly 50 nurses, they've always been here for us,” said Cordelia Johns, MN, chief nursing officer at Parkview. She added that her relationship with the company has been a true partnership.
Ray Berzabal, a Parkview biomedical technician responsible for maintaining the equipment, agrees.
“Whenever I have questions, the support people are quick to respond. They're always available for on-site help, and, if needed, can provide additional equipment should one of our monitors require off-site maintenance.”
The DOU received eight DS-7141 bedside monitors, while the ER, which treats about 80 to 100 patients a day, acquired 14 DS-7101L bedside monitors. In each area, the bedside monitors transmit patient data to DS-5700 central station monitors. Together, they share 24 LX-5160 WMTS telemetry transmitters for monitoring ECG and respiration, plus 24 LX-5630 WMTS radio telemetry transmitters capable of remote monitoring of ECG, respiration SpO2 (arterial oxygen saturation), and pulse waveform.
“Fukuda Denshi’s monitors allow us to capture a patient's every heartbeat for 96 hours, providing a comprehensive look at each patient's recovery progress,” said Tippi Luthy, RN, BSN, CCRN, director of ICU/DOU at Parkview. “Stored data is easy to retrieve and print for inclusion in patients' files. Bottom line, the more our physicians are able to observe, the better the patient care we're able to deliver.”
Luthy added that Parkview's ICU is slated to receive 13 DS-7300s and a DS-5700 later this year.
“Our nurses' ability to immediately and accurately monitor patient conditions when they enter the ER facilitates more accurate diagnoses, expedites treatment and speeds hospital admissions,” said Al Nero, RN, ER director for Parkview.
Next in line for bedside monitoring upgrades is Parkview's NICU. Tracey Boyd, RN, director of Maternal-Child Services, is excited about what it means for the department.
“It will enable us to elevate our acute-care capabilities for the most fragile —23- to 24-week gestations — and help ensure better outcomes,” she said. “The detailed monitoring will also allow us to provide in-service care to a wider range of prematures.”
Parkview's clinical manager, Betty Rowzee, RN, added, “Bedside monitoring systems act as our eyes and ears. Our ability to more accurately monitor each infant not only adds to the level of care we provide but also brings greater peace of mind to the parents of neonates.”
The $6 million investment in capital equipment since 2004 — including the monitoring and telemetry improvements — has helped the hospital draw interest and increased activity from area physicians and medical groups. It has also become an important nurse retention and recruiting attraction.
“Without the best equipment, it's virtually impossible to hire and keep the best workers,” said Marlene Burnett, director of Business Development. “If Parkview is to maintain a competitive advantage, equipment and support from companies like Fukuda Denshi is essential.”

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