Apple tech supports UPMC Susquehanna Surgical Center

PROVIDED PHOTO UPMC Susquehanna Surgery Center and Extended Care Unit patient care manager Deanna Shamsie demonstrates the use of the Apple iPad on the unit.

The old proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is true when related to fruitful health benefits, but not to technology, according to a news release from UPMC Susquehanna.

Doctors and nurses actually are drawn to the Apple (iPad, that is) to assist in treating patients at UPMC Susquehanna, the release noted.

Surgery Center and Extended Care Unit patient care manager Deanna Shamsie said the installation of Apple’s iPad technology has streamlined communication among the UPMC Susquehanna perioperative team.

Medical staff use a computer stationed at the main desk of the new Surgery Center at Williamsport Regional Medical Center to log patient data for daily surgical procedures that include everything from heart valve replacement to tonsillectomies.

More than 30 iPads mounted to the wall of each pre- and post-op patient bay include a touchscreen checklist for medical staff to press to indicate the patient’s status with a time stamp, the news release stated.

Once the patient is assigned a bed, a nurse touches the iPad to begin tracking the time for the patient’s experience. The patient’s record includes the nurse’s name and milestones of surgical care that are checked off throughout their experience.

Data posts to a milestone caption tracking board installed at various locations in medical staff hallways to enable checking a patient’s surgical status.

The UPMC Susquehanna release noted this new automated workflow enhances communication, streamlines the surgical process and maximizes medical staff efficiency while enhancing the patient’s experience.

“SIS Com and iPad technology works well together and enables UPMC Susquehanna’s medical staff to streamline patient operations and collect data while improving efficiency. We believe that overall this process is enhancing our patients’ experience,” said anesthesiologist Dr. Shailesh Patel.

This new technology also populates communication boards posted in family waiting areas. The patient’s status is indicated by an assigned patient number given in advance to family members to enable them to identify at which point their loved one is in the surgical process.

The information that is displayed is coded to protect the patient’s privacy.