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Apple tech supports UPMC Susquehanna Surgical Center

Doctors and nurses are drawn to Apple’s iPad to assist in treating patients at UPMC Susquehanna. Surgery Center and Extended Care Unit Patient Care Manager Deanna Shamsie, RN, BSN, says the installation of Apple 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. Greater 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. 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.

Patient records are color-coded to indicate status (e.g., yellow indicates the patient has just arrived, while green indicates the patient is in the preoperative phase). Data posts to a milestone caption tracking board installed at various locations in medical staff hallways to enable checking a patient’s surgical status. Time-stamped data includes designations such as preoperative time start, ready for anesthesia, seen by anesthesia, seen by surgeon, seen by circulation, seen by CRNA and non-anesthesia procedure. All of the milestone data is stamped to the patient’s electronic medical record (EMR), according to Shamsie.

This new automated workflow enhances communication, streamlines the surgical process, and maximizes medical staff efficiency while enhancing the patient’s experience, she adds. This spring, when the “ready for anesthesia” status is selected the technology will alert the anesthesiologist by sending a text message to his or her cell phone. Previous workflow methods were manually produced and required numerous phone calls and paper postings of patient information. 

“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,” says Anesthesiologist Shailesh Patel, MD.

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.
UPMC Susquehanna is an affiliate of UPMC and a northcentral Pennsylvania based health system that includes Divine Providence Hospital, Muncy Valley Hospital, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital and Williamsport Regional Medical Center. Serving patients from an 11-county region, UPMC Susquehanna has been recognized at the national and state levels for quality of care. 

This regional provider offers a wide array of services that include cancer care, heart and vascular care/heart surgery, neurosciences including neurosurgery, orthopedics, urology, OB/GYN, gastrointestinal services, behavioral health, physical rehabilitation, home care, long term care, assisted living and paramedic/ambulance services.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.