Technology bolsters care for new mothers, newborns at GRMC

Garrett Regional Medical Center, an affiliate of WVU Medicine, now provides remote access to fetal monitoring of new mothers that enables physicians to remotely monitor their patients in the GRMC Family Centered Maternity Suite during labor and delivery.

The system in use, Centricity Perinatal, facilitates communication and patient monitoring at a level that allows physicians to use a secure tablet or smart phone to see how both the fetus and the mother are faring clinically. The system provides patient information that is ongoing, allowing medical staff to stay abreast of labor and delivery patients and stay ahead of any issues that may arise.

“This state-of-the-art technology is putting our Family Centered Maternity Suite at the forefront of keeping labor and delivery patients healthy and safe during birth and after,” says Kendra Thayer, GRMC’s Chief Nursing Officer. “Having fetal and mother vital signs literally at their fingertips regardless of their location in the hospital allows our physicians to access patient information and respond accordingly as needed. This system provides a level of connectivity that is making a significant difference in the lives of our patients.”

The Centricity system acts to prevent problems from arising by keeping clinicians keyed into a patient’s vital statistics. Labor can be a lengthy process; the three stages of labor – early, active, and giving birth – can vary in length from a few hours to more than a day. Because of this, clinicians traditionally are in and out of the mother’s room, checking progress and monitoring both mother and fetal health stats. This new system allows for that monitoring to be done by the clinician even when that clinician is not providing direct care to that patient.

“We appreciate the support this enables us to give our patients as well as the clinical record this system creates,” notes Charlene Bennett, Family Centered Maternity Suite Charge Nurse. “It documents fetal monitoring, vital signs, and health events as they happen, along with the impact of our response as we react in real time. I think this system gives families a sense of security, and supports the fact that they are receiving the best care available. Our mission states that we treat every patient like a member of our own family, and that’s the philosophy we use as we implement new technologies and services.”

The system integrates alerts and reminders to notify clinicians of protocols, automatically fills in patient information that allows staff to avoid transcribing from hard-copy charts, and provides a record of overall department activity that can be reviewed to allow for improved approaches to care.

The Centricity Perinatal system is the latest improvement in technology at Garrett Regional Medical Center.

“We are constantly looking at how we can improve the care we provide,” says GRMC CEO Mark Boucot. “Hands-on care by physicians that the community knows and trusts is the hallmark of Garrett Regional Medical Center. The Centricity Perinatal system is the latest tool that our clinicians can use to enhance the safety and health of our newborns and new mothers.”

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