St. Mary Medical Center in California, US, has adopted new high-tech methods to improve patient care.
The medical centre, a member of Dignity Health, has adopted changes such as a streamlined admissions and emergency room, a new therapy for bronchial patients, a robot to provide rapid analysis of stroke victims, a new patient-carrier helicopter and an upgraded infant resuscitator.
The facility recently received a Gold Seal of Approval for health care services from the Joint Commission.
Commenting on the award, St. Mary president and chief executive officer Thomas Salerno was quoted by Press-Telegram as saying that, "Achieving Joint Commission accreditation is a giant step toward maintaining excellence while continuing to be innovative and enhancing our technology."
The two robots adopted by St. Mary enable timely patient diagnosis, even in the absence of the physician. The robots, from InTouch Health, facilitate a bedside view of the patient without the doctor being in the hospital, and can assist with diagnosis in cases such as strokes, where time is a critical factor.
With the help of a robot camera, the physician can find out if the patient is a stroke victim by focusing on the patient's eyes.
Bronchial thermoplasty, a new outpatient bronchoscopy procedure launched by the medical centre, uses a small catheter to deliver thermal energy to the airway walls in the lungs by radio frequency, thereby reducing the amount of excessive smooth muscle in the airway.
St. Mary Medical Center's chief of staff and pulmonary disease/chest disease Dr. Joyoti Datta was quoted by the news agency as saying that bronchial thermoplasty improves asthma control, which results in reduced emergency room visits, less hospitalisation for respiratory symptoms and fewer days lost from work or school.
"We are excited to be the first hospital in Southern California to offer an innovative asthma treatment that will improve the quality of life for so many people who suffer from severe asthma," Datta said.
St. Mary's Disaster Resource Center has acquired a new Panda Infant Resuscitation device to replace its old infant warmer. Alhough mainly a baby warmer, the device can resuscitate an infant if there are breathing problems.
The medical centre has also entered into a contract with emergency, trauma and critical care air transport company Mercy Air for a newer, larger helicopter.