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KH Foundation, CCRA jointly fund $1.02 million nurse call project

Posted: May 22, 2014 3:13 p.m.
Updated: May 23, 2014 5:00 a.m.

The KershawHealth Foundation Board of Directors unanimously approved a more than $675,000 grant to KershawHealth at its May 20 meeting. The grant, along with $345,000 worth of cumulative gifts from the Carolina Cup Racing Association (CCRA) from the last four years, will help fund a new $1.02 million nurse call system.

“Our decision to make this sizable grant to KershawHealth is significant for two reasons,” Foundation Board Chair Kathy Comer said. “First, it reflects the foundation’s commitment to its mission of helping provide the highest quality healthcare to our community. We are convinced that the new nurse call system will not only sustain but improve patient care for many years to come. Second, this grant reflects the foundation’s confidence in the future of KershawHealth and in its Board of Trustees to make decisions that ensure the continuation of quality healthcare in Kershaw County. And of course the foundation would not be able to make such a grant without the generous support of our donors.”

The KershawHealth Foundation’s grant came from its successful Centennial Fund Campaign, undertaken in 2013 to commemorate KershawHealth’s founding as the Camden Hospital a century ago. The proceeds from the running of the Carolina and Colonial Cups are annually given to KershawHealth, as stipulated by Marion duPont Scott when she bequeathed the Springdale Race Course to the state for the running of the two races.

“The Carolina Cup Racing Association’s commitment to our hospital is a duty we are honored to fulfill,” Racing Association Board Chair Peggy Steinman said. “So many of those who work in the equine industry here in Kershaw County depend on KershawHealth for their care. We are especially happy that we have been able to partner with the KershawHealth Foundation to fund projects that improve care. Four years ago, we jointly funded a lithotripsy center for treating kidney stones.”

Two years ago, KershawHealth established a team to evaluate options for replacing the Medical Center’s aging nurse call system. A total of eight systems were assessed, and the final recommendation was the SimplexGrinell EZ Care VITAL Touch system.

Today’s nurse call systems are a far cry from the traditional nurse call button -- they are, in fact, closer to a patient monitoring and staff management system. Modern nurse call technology puts patient data and care information literally at staff members’ fingertips. A simple touch of the computer screen can create immediate, accurate voice connections with caregivers, send service dispatches, pinpoint staff locations, and make staff assignments and shift changes quickly. A wireless interface increases staff mobility by automatically routing calls to portable phones and pagers, displaying patient bed ID, priority level, and requested service.

In addition, the system can be integrated with patient monitors, ventilators, IV pumps, and bed sensors to show at a glance what is happening in each patient room. Ultimately, these systems result in reduced errors and faster response times for patients.

KershawHealth Nursing Supervisor and interim Chief Nursing Officer Judy Hall, RN served on the nurse call system team.

“Early on in the evaluation process, we realized the potential of a new nurse call system to enhance the experience our patients have when they are in the hospital. That’s most important,” Hall said. “But the new SimplexGrinnell system has many advantages for the organization overall. It will certainly help us deploy our staff resources more efficiently. It will also help reduce errors and increase the quality of care, which is of course important for patients but also can increase the level of reimbursement KershawHealth receives.”

Installation of the new nurse call system will begin immediately and is expected to be complete in approximately seven months. Once the hardware is installed throughout the Medical Center, the SimplexGrinnell system can easily accommodate future enhancements as software additions.

KershawHealth Board of Trustees Vice Chair Dr. Tallulah Holmstrom emphasized during the foundation board’s meeting the broad impact funding the new technology would have on patients and staff.

“Every day, all day this new nurse call system will help us care for our patients. It will enable us to respond to their needs more quickly and more efficiently,” Holmstrom said. “Moreover, the new system will be a critical tool in our quest for ever better quality, something I am particularly passionate about. I really can’t think of a project the foundation could fund that would have more day-to-day impact.”

Following the foundation board’s vote, Dr. Holmstrom added, “On behalf of the trustees, I want to extend our deepest thanks for these significant contributions to helping KershawHealth enhance the care we provide to our patients. I would add as well that, as trustees, we are particularly grateful for the foundation’s vote of confidence in our healthcare system and its future. The timing of this support is significant as the Board of Trustees begins the serious work of evaluating potential strategic partners to ensure our hospital’s future.”

(This information provided by KershawHealth.)


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