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New Patient Care Technology Coming

Debbie's Story

A long-time Paris, Illinois resident, 65-year-old Debbie Nickles, started feeling ill during the middle of August. A COVID-19 test revealed that she had the Coronavirus. Once transferred to Union Hospital to receive the best care, Nickles started to worry about her recovery at home when a nurse told her about the Masimo SafetyNet System. The Masimo SafetyNet Patient Management System enables clinicians to remotely care for patients via a telemedicine device so they can recover in the comfort of their homes while under the supervision of the hospital clinical team. Donors of Union Health Foundation funded this innovative technology to the Wabash Valley for patients like Debbie.

Twenty days after inpatient, Debbie was discharged with the Masimo system, where she remained on the monitor for 17 days. She was requiring 6 liters of oxygen at the time of discharge and still fighting fatigue, shortness of breath, and increased heart rate. However, she was relieved to know that the device was transmitting essential health information to Union Hospital’s monitoring site. The daily phone calls with the nurses kept her mind at ease as she continued her recovery at home with her dog, Teddy.

“You guys have no idea how thankful I am for Masimo – for being able to come home. At that moment, I really had no secure place to go because the family all worked, and they wanted to make sure that I had security and ability to notify someone if I did have complications. In this respect, I was able to come and be in my own bed, in my own home, and have security of knowing somebody would call if my oxygen dropped or if my oxygen had went way down. I am just very, very, very grateful for having that piece of being in my own home and knowing that there was someone there for me,” said Debbie Nickles, Union Hospital Masimo Patient.

The Union Health Foundation funded the Masimo SafetyNet System through your donations, giving patients like Debbie the relief of knowing they were safe in their own homes. With the help of the cutting-edge technology, she can enjoy life alongside her dog Teddy and watch her five grandchildren grow up.

“This technology has allowed us to remind our patients that just because they are no longer within our four walls, they are still very much a priority to us here at Union Health. Masimo has given our patients the ability to recover at home, independently, which has also made a positive impact on their mental health during these times of uncertainty,” said COPD Educator, Darcy Minnett, BSRT.

New Patient Care Technology

Donations to Union Health Foundation brought groundbreaking technology to the Wabash Valley in December 2020.  The Foundation awarded a $97,500 grant to Union Hospital to purchase a Masimo SafetyNet patient management system.

The system allows clinicians to remotely care for patients via a telemedicine device so they can recover in the comfort of their homes while under round-the-clock supervision of a hospital clinical team.

Jimmy McKanna, Union’s Manager of Respiratory Therapy, said this technology is a “giant leap into the future of healthcare” and allows hospital-based clinicians more resources to provide care for critical patients. Union Hospital was the first hospital in the state of Indiana to provide 24-hour remote monitoring.  Additionally, this technology transcends COVID-19 and will have multiple applications in chronic disease management for the Wabash Valley community in the future.

In its first month of use, approximately 25 patients were able to receive their care at home.

“One of our big success stories was a patient that was weaned from five liters per minute of oxygen down to room air while being monitored on the unit,” McKanna said.