Upgrade eagerly awaited

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Dunstan Hospital is to gain a new $20,000 mirror computer system for its high dependency unit (HDU), thanks to the combined efforts of the Alexandra, Cromwell and Wanaka Rotary clubs.

Director of nursing Debi Lawry said the mirror screen system was a particularly important piece of equipment for the unit and needed to be upgraded.

“We can’t efficiently function without it and the current machine is coming to the end of its life,” Ms Lawry said.

The hospital’s HDU was in use about 60% of the time and when full there were three patients in beds who were hooked to sensors and monitors, while another four patients in the ward were linked to the monitors by telemetry.

The patients’ vital signs were constantly relayed to the computer screen in the HDU office, which was always monitored by a nurse.

However, if the nurse was needed elsewhere, another nurse on the desk in the ward could continue to monitor the patients as their computer screen mirrored the information from the HDU computer. If a patient needed urgent help, it was instantly available.

“It is particularly important during the night as we only have two nurses on duty then and sometimes they have to be elsewhere where there is the greatest clinical need,” Ms Lawry said.

“It also means we can respond more promptly to the patients’ needs that this machine alerts us to, and we can continue to provide the safest patient care we possibly can.”

She said the Rotary clubs had offered to provide the money required to replace the existing unit.

“We are really grateful to them,” she said.

“They make a real difference and are still looking at ways of supporting us.

“We are really lucky that we [the hospital] has such strong community support, otherwise we would really struggle.

“This way the money from the DHB is used for operational expenditure rather than being top-sliced to pay for capital expenditure.”

Cromwell Rotary Club project manager Fin White said each club had raised $5000, and the final $5000 would come from The Rotary Foundation.

Once he had received official confirmation from the foundation for the remaining money, he would advise the hospital it could go ahead and order the system. A company in Christchurch will order it from overseas and it will take about six weeks to arrive.

“We have the money available for that and we will hold a fundraiser later on to replace that money,” Mr White said.

The combined Rotary clubs held an “Art of the Craftsman” event, a wine and cheese pairing evening at The Gate, Cromwell, on September 2 that attracted about 80 people.

Mr White said the purpose of the function was to replace the $3400 the clubs had used to buy a portable diabetic diagnostic machine for Dunstan Hospital.