Taking patient vital signs goes high-tech

ESCONDIDO, Calif. – Palomar Medical Center is breaking ground when it comes to patient care.  On Friday, the hospital unveiled a small, but powerful device designed to monitor vital signs.

Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 5.27.47 PMThe medical center is the first hospital in the nation to use the technology called VISI.

“It’s really cool, I wear it on my wrist and it automatically does its’ thing,” said Anastasha St. Augustine, patient.

St. Augustine was admitted into Palomar Wednesday night after a car accident.

“It’s so nice, I’ve been able to sleep,” said St. Augustine.  “The nurse just comes in and looks at the little monitor and leaves me alone.

“It checks heart, rate, blood pressure, temperature, respiratory rate,” explained Dr. Ben Kanter, Chief Medical Information Officer.

With the VISI, nurses no longer have to make room-to-room hourly routine checks.

“The nurse can now take patient’s vital signs whenever he or she can with the workflow,” explained Lori Shoemaker, Chief Nurse.

“With this cable attached to my thumb, I can get my saturation of oxygen,” demonstrated Gary Manning.  Manning is Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Sotera Wireless.

Sotera, based out of San Diego, makes VISI.   The device connects two cables to the patient, one to the chest and the other to the thumb.

“With those two cables I’m able to measure all 5 vital signs,” said Manning.

The information is then sent to a central monitoring system.Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 5.28.12 PM

“This happens within 10 seconds, the opportunity to improve safety is dramatic,” said Dr. Kanter.

Kanter added it’s safety that can potentially save lives.

“So we can have warning systems that tell us when somebody’s starting to go bad,” said Kanter.

VISI gives doctors and nurses time to react and in turn, saving patient’s money.

“They can intervene early and hopefully not have a prolonged stay with that particular patient,” said Manning.

For the patient, it puts care right at their fingertips.Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 5.28.43 PM

“Even just to call the nurse they are automatically hi what do you need?” said St. Augustine.

Currently, Palomar Medical Center is only using the VISI on non-intensive care patients.  Eventually it hopes to implement the device throughout the hospital and over at Pomerado too.  Sotera Wireless said it’s already had interest from other hospitals too.