Mercy Hospital Lebanon Patients to Benefit from Upgrades

May 27, 2015

Medical/surgical co-workers enjoy the new rocker.

While Shirley Krueger was visiting her seven-week-old great-granddaughter at Mercy Hospital Lebanon, she didn’t realize her experience would leave a lasting impression.

“I stood there, among three generations of mothers, taking turns cradling the baby because she wasn’t fond of her crib,” Krueger recalled. “It was an amazing time, but we were getting really tired and there was nowhere to sit and rock her back to sleep.”

Unlike each room in the labor and delivery department, the hospital’s pediatric room wasn’t equipped with a rocking chair–yet. Krueger’s suggestion for a little more relaxation inspired Mercy Health Foundation – Lebanon to include a contemporary, wood frame rocker among $65,000 in equipment purchases and upgrades.

“When a child is crying, you can get them a warm blanket, but there’s truly nothing quite like having a family member actually holding that baby,” said Samantha Day, director of medical/surgical and intensive care unit (ICU). “The benefits of this rocker will be felt for a long time.”

“Studies have shown that rocking a baby can help its balance and motor control,” added Judy O’Connor-Snyder, vice president of nursing at Mercy Hospital Lebanon. “It can also reduce apnea in premature infants. They get the rest they need so they can heal much quicker.”

Nursing staff helped select the color and fabric of the well-padded rocker, which matches the color and theme of the room. “It will be a blessing for new parents and grandparents who don’t need to stress during such an important time,” Krueger said.

Updated security system

In addition to comfort, the Foundation aimed to increase security within the labor and delivery department. Mercy spent $7,000 to replace the unit’s key pad system; benefits of a new card badge swipe system are expected to be long-lasting and provide much-needed peace of mind.

“Only staff and select people in the hospital will be able to use their name badge to access the department,” said Linda Webster, director of OB. “We have five different physicians who are usually in a hurry to get in and out, and often they’ll forget the pin code. This way, it’s easier for them to just swipe their card to get in.”

The low profile wall mount readers incorporate the latest smart card technology over a secure network.

“We want to protect our babies,” Webster added. “We’re right on the interstate, so we’re very busy with many new faces each day. Security of our littlest patients is always on our mind, and this helps put us even more at ease.”

New ventilators

Co-workers in labor and delivery aren’t the only ones breathing better. Mercy Health Foundation – Lebanon spent about $57,000 on two new ventilators – one in the newborn nursery and one for adults in the hospital’s ICU – giving patients time to rest and recover after procedures.

“Our original ventilators were almost a decade old,” said Kent Wapelhorst, director of respiratory therapy. “They were top of the line when they first came out, but times have changed. We’re upgrading to newer modes of ventilation that sync up better with a patient’s breathing patterns.”

The ventilators will also allow Mercy Hospital Lebanon to broaden its treatment scope, eliminating the need to transfer certain patients to other Mercy facilities for proper treatment. “We want to keep our community members here instead of traveling to see loved ones somewhere else,” Wapelhorst said.

Mercy’s incorporation of telemedicine also helped guide the recent purchase. Mercy SafeWatch, which provides expert, around-the-clock care remotely from St. Louis, monitors patients in Lebanon. “And overnight, as those nurses are watching our ICU closely, we’ll now have the highest possible technology at their virtual fingertips. It’s in step with Mercy’s continuity of care.”

“And it’s another step in providing the very best care to the Lebanon community,” said John Carr, chairman of the Mercy Health Foundation – Lebanon. “From the Curry Cancer Center to digital mammography and now these very important upgrades, none of it would be possible without the generous donations from the community.”

Mercy Health Foundation, a non-profit organization, supports projects that provide health care scholarships, advanced technology and capital needs. To make a donation, help with projects like these or learn more, click here.

Photos of the purchases are available here.