Several local hospitals continue to stay on the cutting edge of various medical technologies.
Wheeling Hospital Chief Executive Officer Ron Violi said Wheeling Hospital has been fortunate to have kept pace with a wide variety of health care enhancements, and in some cases it has been among the first hospitals in the nation to utilize new technologies.
"We constantly monitor and research the latest medical and business technological advancements," said Violi.
Wheeling Hospital, keeping pace with new technologies, just became the third medical facility in the U.S. to implant the world’s smallest and thinnest cardioverter defibrillator. Chris Coffield, a radiologic technologist at the hospital’s Cardiac Cath Lab, displays the Boston Scientific product.
Recently, Wheeling Hospital became just the third hospital in the U.S. to implant the world's smallest and thinnest cardioverter defibrillator to treat heart failure and sudden cardiac arrest. The procedure is now routine at the hospital.
According to Violi, Wheeling Hospital was the first area facility to implement Computerized Physician Order Entry, which streamlines the process of taking a physician's orders and directly entering them into a computer system. This state-of-the-art system is currently in use at nationally recognized hospitals such as Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
Another technological advancement last year at Wheeling Hospital was the unveiling of the region's first Breast Magnetic Resonance Imagining, the latest technology for early detection of breast cancer.
Q: How well do local hospitals do in providing cutting-edge medical technology?
A: Very well, as both Wheeling Hospital and Ohio Valley Medical Center spend millions annually on upgrading their equipment.
In addition, after two years of construction, Wheeling Hospital's new $53 million building addition, Tower 5, is scheduled to open in mid-April. Tower 5 is a 144,000-square-foot, seven-story state-of-the-art facility that features a new 23,000-square-foot Emergency/ Trauma Center, a Center for Pediatrics, private patient rooms, as well as cardiovascular, surgical and medical intensive care units.
Ohio Valley Medical Center and East Ohio Regional Hospital have recently implemented a variety of new medical technologies, including a computerized operating room tracking software which was first put to use this past fall.
The new tracking software provides key features to provide improved communication between surgeons, physicians and operating room staff as well as launching cutting-edge patient care initiatives which include:
An added "Big Board" function allows for all information to stay visible to the entire operating room staff during the entirety of the surgery, as well as keep family members informed on the status of the patient throughout each step of the surgery. Patients are identified by individual ID numbers to protect the privacy of both the patient and family.
When it comes to investing in medical technology, OVMC and East Ohio Regional Hospital continue to focus the areas where they already have the specialists in place and where officials think they can best serve the patients of the Ohio Valley.