BOONE — Appalachian Regional Healthcare System is expanding its Watauga Medical Center with a $126 million construction project and is including technological enhancements like the implementation of MEDI+SIGN Digital Whiteboards and MED+SIGN Digital Door Displays.
ARHS stated that will align with its focus to deliver premier health care.
“For years, ARHS has successfully worked around limitations in space and declining buildings that have kept us from achieving our full potential. It’s time we invest in people, systems, and facilities. This will expand our opportunities and position us for the future,” said Chuck Mantooth, President and CEO of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, in a press release.
After 60 years of dedication to the community, ARHS is committed to improving its entire operation from the inside out, the health care organization stated in a press release. This 100,000 sq. ft. hospital expansion includes surgery, imaging, bed replacement and a new Central Energy Plant.
A new four-floor, 48-bed tower will provide larger patient rooms capable of accommodating high-tech mobile medical equipment, state-of-the-art surgical suites, an updated Emergency Department, new waiting areas and more. A new two-story entryway will greet patients with natural light and serene mountain images as they enter the building.
“It is exciting to see technology helping to keep patients and families better informed about care. The product also adds safety with real-time warnings for patients who may be attempting to leave the bed by providing visual and audio warnings. MEDI-SIGN will also help staff with making sure that care boards are automatically updated in real-time with automatic data flows from the electronic medical record,” said Greg Miller, Chief Nursing Officer at Watauga Medical Center.
Along with the new building comes a whole new era of technology advancement at Watauga Medical Center. One prominent feature will upgrade patient rooms with automated and real-time digital in-room and door displays to elevate the patient experience while also improving staff and patient communication, satisfaction and safety, according to ARHS.
“To support their mission to provide high quality, compassionate healthcare, Watauga Medical Center has installed MEDI+SIGN, fully integrated, digital in-room and door displays. This state-of-the-art technology is located in the patient rooms, including ICU, Orthopedics, Med-Surg, Labor and Delivery, and the Emergency Department,” says David Linetsky, Founder/CEO of MEDI+SIGN. “The MEDI+SIGN electronic patient room whiteboards replace the traditional dry-erase boards in the patient rooms to focus on communication enhancements while substantially reducing the staff workload. The staff-facing door displays provide an overview of the patient’s care plan, risks, and other precautions to the healthcare team. Clear and concise information on the MEDI+SIGN Emergency Department Whiteboards highlights items such as tests ordered, average turnaround times and lab status.”
The MEDI+SIGN solution fully integrates with Allscripts®, ARHS’s electronic medical record, to display the patient’s real-time healthcare data to clinicians, patients, and their families. MEDI+SIGN also uses data from ARHS’s Real-Time Locator System, to support rounding initiatives, providing peace of mind to the patient and family.
MEDI+SIGN focuses on improving HCAHPS and ensuring the utmost patient safety by reducing falls and other sentinel events. Watauga Medical Center’s smart beds integrate with MEDI+SIGN ANTI-FALL™ technology to alert healthcare staff, patients and families of potential fall risks by sending alerts to the digital whiteboards in the patient’s room and in the hallway. Patent-pending algorithms use the information in the patient’s electronic health record to detect the patient’s fall risk and other factors to determine if the smart bed is in its safest position, according to the hospital.