South Florida Hospital News
Sunday July 5, 2020

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October 2016 - Volume 13 - Issue 4


Northwest Medical Center Invests $3 Million in Progressive Patient Care Innovations

A $3 million investment has made Northwest Medical Center (NWMC), a facility of HCA East Florida, the first hospital in South Florida to have a multitude of high-tech healthcare innovations under one roof, many of which are first in the area. By utilizing the latest technologies in patient care, nurses and physicians at NWMC are delivering more modern patient care than anyone else in the area. NWMC has been implementing these new technologies over the past year.

“Patients deserve a hospital with top doctors using the latest tools, treatments and technology to deliver the best possible care. By investing $3 million in essential, cutting edge technologies, we are cutting down on miscommunications, delays and creating a safer patient environment,” said Erica Gulrich, CEO of NWMC. “We are excited to be the first to offer many of these technologies to our patients and caregivers.
Highlights of the technologies include:
• Visi-Mobile Wireless Vital Sign Monitoring: The power of wireless technology is in the wrist-worn device, named the Visi® Mobile System. Surgical patients enjoy uninterrupted sleep knowing they are being monitored 24/7. As the mobile system checks their blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate or oxygenation levels, the information displays at the nurse’s station and on the nurse’s iMobile Clinical Communicator. Any abnormalities picked up by the monitor alert staff to take life-saving actions immediately.
• iMobile Clinical Communicators: This smartphone device has eliminated paper charts and dialing nurses stations to check up on patients. Since iMobile was launched at NWMC, care team members can be located immediately. Patient decisions are made more quickly since clinical data is delivered more efficiently. When clinical specialists arrive at work they’re equipped with iPhones, can see their patients’ charts and send secure HIPAA compliant text messages. A broadcast text can be sent to the entire unit if needed. The Nurse Call systems and vital sign monitoring are integrated with this technology, allowing for more efficient responses.
• CenTrak® Real-Time Location System (RTLS): NWMC has more than 3,000 pieces of equipment, which are electronically tagged to enable tracking by location. Staff members wear CenTrak® badges for staff locating, hand hygiene compliance monitoring and more. CenTrak® enables multiple clinical applications, including environmental / temperature monitoring, perioperative workflow, patient flow, and nurse call automation. NWMC is the only hospital in Broward County using this advanced locating technology.
• MyCare Electronic Whiteboards are digital whiteboards installed in all hospital rooms. The board displays patient information such as medications, patient goals, upcoming procedures and the names of staff members who have entered the room that day. An example of how this technology reassures family members of their loved one’s care, is the whiteboard’s ability to verify that a patient indeed had numerous staff visits, even if the temporarily disoriented patient claims to remember no staff in her room.
• Hill Rom Hand Hygiene is a high-tech monitoring system to improve compliance and reduce infection rates. NWMC staff are reminded to wash their hands when entering and exiting a patient room keeping patients and staff safe from the spread of infection.
These multiple advanced technologies communicate with each other to deliver seamless, streamlined, and meaningful communication among clinicians and the patients, enhancing the quality of care as staff devotes more time at the bedside with the patients who are the center of their exceptional care.
From the perspective of quality care, NWMC staff find that the adoption of these technologies changes the way patients feel connected to their own care. Danny Ducello, Director of Medical Surgical Nursing reports, “Since surgical patients must walk at least five times a day, they’re discovering they can watch their own physiology on their wrists with the Visi-Mobile monitor as they exercise. It makes them feel safer. We’ve seen a big rise in our patient satisfaction scores as a result. The monitor also detects patient motion and the nurse’s station can immediately see if the patient is vertical and about to fall.”
Ducello believes these integrated technologies are in many cases working to shorten the patient’s length of stay. The equipment monitors patients so closely, nurses are able to intervene before a situation escalates to, for example, the need to transfer a patient from the surgical unit to the ICU. Adding a day of treatment in the ICU would increase the patient’s length of stay. Ducello adds, “The earlier we are aware of and intervene in a critical situation, the less interruption there will be to length of stay. Overall, I think because this integrated system has finally connected patients to their hospital experience so they feel safe and cared for, the hospital can do an impressively better job in improving their outcome.”
Northwest Medical Center is a facility of HCA East Florida. HCA East Florida is the largest healthcare system in Eastern Florida and an affiliate of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). HCA East Florida has 14 hospitals, multiple ambulatory surgery centers, physician practices, imaging centers and free standing emergency care facilities, as well as a supply chain center and an integrated regional lab.

For more information, visit To learn more about these technologies, visit

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