UPMC Susquehanna’s new surgical center supported by Apple technology

The English proverb, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is true when related to fruitful health benefits, but not to technology. Doctors and nurses are actually drawn to the Apple (iPad, that is) to assist in treating patients at UPMC Susquehanna. Surgery Center and Extended Care Unit Patient Care Manager Deanna Shamsie, RN, BSN, says the installation of Apple’s iPad technology has streamlined communication among the UPMC Susquehanna perioperative team.

Medical staff use a computer stationed at the main desk of the new Surgery Center at Williamsport Regional Medical Center to log patient data for daily surgical procedures that include everything from heart valve replacement to tonsillectomies. Greater than 30 iPads mounted to the wall of each pre- and post-op patient bay include a touchscreen checklist for medical staff to press to indicate the patient’s status with a time stamp. Once the patient is assigned a bed, a nurse touches the iPad to begin tracking the time for the patient’s experience. The patient’s record includes the nurse’s name and milestones of surgical care that are checked off throughout their experience.

Patient records are color-coded to indicate status (e.g., yellow indicates the patient has just arrived, while green indicates the patient is in the preoperative phase). Data posts to a milestone caption tracking board installed at various locations in medical staff hallways to enable checking a patient’s surgical status. Time-stamped data includes designations such as preoperative time start, ready for anesthesia, seen by anesthesia, seen by surgeon, seen by circulation, seen by CRNA and non-anesthesia procedure. All of the milestone data is stamped to the patient’s electronic medical record (EMR), according to Shamsie.

This new automated workflow enhances communication, streamlines the surgical process, and maximizes medical staff efficiency while enhancing the patient’s experience. This spring, when the “ready for anesthesia” status is selected the technology will alert the anesthesiologist by sending a text message to his or her cell phone. Previous workflow methods were manually produced and required numerous phone calls and paper postings of patient information. “SIS Com and iPad technology works well together and enables UPMC Susquehanna’s medical staff to streamline patient operations and collect data while improving efficiency. We believe that overall this pro-cess is enhancing our patients’ experience,” said Anesthesiologist Shailesh Patel, MD, in a statement.

This new technology also populates communication boards posted in family waiting areas. The patient’s status is indicated by an assigned patient number given in advance to family members to enable them to identify at which point their loved one is in the surgical process. The information that is displayed is coded to protect the patient’s privacy.

UPMC Susquehanna is an affiliate of UPMC and a northcentral Pennsylvania based health system that includes Divine Providence Hospital, Muncy Valley Hospital, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital and Williamsport Regional Medical Center. Serving patients from an 11-county region, UPMC Susquehanna has been recognized at the national and state levels for quality of care. This regional provider offers a wide array of services that include cancer care, heart and vascular care/heart surgery, neurosciences including neurosurgery, orthopedics, urology, OB/GYN, gastrointestinal services, behavioral health, physical rehabilitation, home care, long term care, assisted living and paramedic/ambulance services.

Source: UPMC Susquehanna

MacDailyNews Take: Another medical enterprise win for Apple’s iOS and iPad!

Apple hires Duke’s Dr. Bloomfield, a HealthKit and ResearchKit pioneer – November 1, 2016
Apple announces advancements to ResearchKit – March 21, 2016
Apple is ramping up its medical tech workforce – January 12, 2016
More than half of top U.S. hospitals are trialling Apple HealthKit – February 5, 2015


  1. Ipads will be used as an excuse to raise rates. Computers thus far have done shockingly little to provide better patient care and better outcomes. While in the USA most hospitals are putting PHDs to work as data entry clerks and finding every possible way to maximize profits, many third world nations have better healthcare results by ignoring profit and just focusing on good human care. Medical tourism is rising because you can get heart surgery done in Costa Rica for a fraction of US costs.

    Just as the US struggles to get teens to move their eyes from their phone screens, I predict docs will now have their eyes glued to their goddamn ipads as they run from patient to patient, maximizing throughput like the HMO drones they have become.

    Am I bitter? You’d better believe it. The incompetence shown by so-called medical professionals as my Dad suffered and died from cancer has convinced me that the medical system has been hijacked by profiteers. Insurance and medical businesses should be nonprofit by law. Do yourself a favor and look for nonprofit hospitals in your area now before you need them. Just going to the closest convenient doctor is likely the fastest way to medical bankruptcy for a lot of people.

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