Foundation raises money for new telemetry equipment at Chestertown hospital

Team members at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown display the Philips IntelliVue Pic iX Patient Monitors telemetry system. From left are Sandy Prochaska, Mickey Roderick and Sierra Green.

CHESTERTOWN — University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown is being enhanced thanks to a newly purchased high-technology telemetry system that plays a vital role in the care of patients.

According to a news release, Philips IntelliVue Pic iX Patient Monitors telemetry system continuously monitors a patient’s vital signs such as heart rate, respiration, oxygen level, pulse and temperature, and transmits the data to a technician at the nurses’ workstation.

The system, with a cost of nearly a quarter-million dollars, was purchased for the hospital by the University of Maryland Chester River Health Foundation.

“I am so pleased that the Foundation was able to provide this vital technology for our hospital,” said Maryann Ruehrmund, executive director of the Chester River Health Foundation. “Our mission is to support the advancement of patient care excellence at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, and we are deeply grateful to the community for helping us achieve our goal, especially through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to Kathy Elliott, UM Shore Regional Health’s director of professional nursing practice, telemetry is an indispensable technology and fundamental to providing optimal care of patients, especially those with cardiac issues.

“Our nursing staff is thrilled to have this upgraded technology now online for patients who need telemetry monitoring in our Chestertown hospital,” Elliott said.

The upgraded system uses enhanced graphics, including an intuitive touch-screen interface that enhances the speed and efficiency of data collection, said Sandy Prochaska, manager, Inpatient and Emergency Department, at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown.

“The upgrade also allows patients to be monitored from one screen, versus managing multiple screens and has improved the continuity of care for interdepartmental transfers. A separate monitor is no longer needed when, for example, a patient is in transport from the emergency department to a patient room,” Prochaska said.

The campaign for the telemetry system began in early 2020, when the foundation was awarded a $25,000 allocation of state tax credits from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Investment Tax Credit program for this project.

The credits encouraged donations to the campaign by providing a tax credit to Maryland residents and businesses equal to 50% of their donation in addition to any deduction they might take for making a charitable gift.

Additional funds for the telemetry system were raised through the foundation’s annual golf fundraiser held last September, for which the Chester River Hospital Auxiliary was the leading sponsor, and the foundation’s year-end appeal.

Ultimately, the foundation raised more than $239,000 for the telemetry system.

“This achievement is another step forward in achieving excellence in rural health care for Kent and northern Queen Anne’s counties,” said Dennis Welsh, UM Shore Regional Health’s vice president of rural health care transformation. “I am very grateful to the Foundation, its work and the many community members whose support helped make the new telemetry system a reality.”

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