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OSF Saint Elizabeth Foundation gives $475,000 for upgrades

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

OTTAWA – Imagine the security of having around-the-clock care for a critically ill loved one. That’s the benefit of OSF ConstantCare, an electronic monitoring system introduced in October in the intensive care unit at OSF Saint Elizabeth Medical Center.

OSF ConstantCare offers greater reassurance to OSF patients and families by providing additional monitoring from trained critical care specialists. And it wouldn’t have been possible without funding from the hospital’s foundation.

Vice chair of the foundation, George Shanley, said this is precisely why the foundation exists.

“We are happy to be able to contribute just over $475,000 toward computer monitors and telemetry equipment at OSF Saint Elizabeth,” Shanley said in a news release. “This is what we are charged with and what we are passionate about – providing funding and support for local upgrades that improve patient care and safety.”

Through the telemonitoring system, a specially trained eICU team of critical care physicians, nurses and other health care professionals monitor critical care patients from an off-site monitoring location, called the eICU Center, in Peoria. Patient vital signs, medications, blood test results, X-rays and other information are all monitored remotely using real-time data, allowing the team to respond quickly to avoid a crisis. Should an emergency occur, the eICU physician is there to guide the bedside medical staff through the emergency until the on-call physician can respond.

Patients who are admitted to the ICU in Ottawa are still cared for by their local physician, but will now also receive 24-hour care from professionals in the Peoria monitoring center who serve as a second set of eyes for local physicians and nurses.

Foundation Board Treasurer Mark Palmer said in the release that continuously monitoring critically ill patients allows caregivers to identify subtle changes in conditions sooner, avoiding complications in the process.

“With OSF ConstantCare in place, OSF Saint Elizabeth is able to save more lives, reduce complications, and decrease length of ICU stays – not to mention, keep our loved ones close to home when they are most vulnerable,” he said.

All donations to the Foundation remain local to support OSF Saint Elizabeth and the Ottawa community. To make a contribution, or for more information, visit www.osfsaintelizabeth.org/donate.

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