The Southwest Medical Center Board of Trustees met December 14 for a regularly scheduled board meeting. In addition to the approval of the 2018 operating budget for the medical center, the board approved more than $990,000 in capital items for patient care and hospital operations.

Capital items approved included:

Voice-Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Phone System – This new digital voice phone system replaces the current analog phone system and will allow for an improved patient experience through advanced queuing of calling structures. The system also places all hospital locations and clinics on the same system for direct calling and easy transfers.

Cystoscopes – Two additional cystoscopes will be used in the Urology Care Center to meet the needs of the growing clinic volumes.

PACS System – This new system displays and archives all Diagnostic Imaging studies performed for patients. Four companies were reviewed and the NovaRad system was selected. The new system features specific voice recognition for faster patient care reporting.

Digital Portable X-ray Unit – This portable x-ray unit meets new CMS standards which require all x-ray exams to be digital by January 2018.

Labor Beds – Two new labor beds will replace current labor, delivery, and recovery beds. These new beds include features which enhance both patient comfort and safety during labor.

Telemetry System Upgrades – Telemetry units are used to monitor cardiac rhythms of patients at SWMC. This system upgrade includes the addition of four telemetry units to meet growing volumes for patient care as well as upgrades in technology which feature alarm safety and the ability to recall monitoring.

Nerve Monitor – Item was requested by surgeons who perform thyroid procedures. The nerve monitor will improve the safety of patients undergoing thyroidectomies and would be of great use for ENT physicians in the future.

Vacuum Steam Sterilizer – This steam sterilizer replaces a third steam sterilizer which reached end of life and could not be repaired.

Omnicell OMNIRX Auxiliary Tower – This medication tower will be attached to existing Omnicell equipment and will be used to securely store and dispense IV fluids and IV antibiotics.

With the approval of these capital items, Southwest Medical Center will purchase and put these items into use over the next several months. SWMC uses operating revenues to re-invest dollars back into capital expenditures for patient care and facility upgrades.