It’s been just over a year since CGMH announced the launch of the new Department of Internal Medicine. Despite the Hospital’s ongoing battle with COVID-19, Chief of Internal Medicine, Dr. Mark Bonta and his team have been diligently building the Department by recruiting additional Internal Medicine and Critical Care Specialists, standardizing our processes to ensure high quality care, and implementing evidence-based approaches to the care of the critically ill that ensure care at CGMH is comparable with that provided in any larger city centre.
Donors have played a key role in helping to grow and improve Internal Medicine Services. At Dr. Bonta’s request, the Foundation undertook a mini campaign to fund important diagnostic and treatment equipment and our generous donors responded instantly.
The very first items funded by one CGMHF donor couple was a Portable Ultrasound Unit for the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Although this technology was already in place in the Emergency Department and Obstetrics, the ICU required a dedicated ultrasound that could be used at the patient’s bedside. The unit can be used to enhance diagnostic certainty in our sickest patients, closely monitor their response to treatments and to enhance the safety of our procedures done at the bedside in the ICU. This tool assists in medical-decision-making by the doctors, nurses and Respiratory Therapists collaborating in the care of our ICU patients.
“Having Ultrasound technology at our fingertips ensures that we can provide optimal care for our ICU patients,” says Dr. Bonta. “We’re also very grateful for the purchase of the new Bladder Scanner for ICU. It is a non-invasive portable tool for diagnosing, managing, and treating urinary outflow dysfunction.”
Diagnosis and management of cardio-respiratory conditions: Another important responsibility of the Department of Internal Medicine.
Generous donors have funded the purchase of additional equipment including three new ECG (electrocardiogram) machines. ECG is a simple test that can be used to check the heart’s rhythm and electrical activity. Sensors attached to the skin are used to detect the electrical signals produced by your heart each time it beats. ECG is a vital tool in diagnosing patients in cardiac arrest.
Julie Smith-Rayburn, Cardiology Technologist at CGMH is thrilled to have the additional equipment. “The purchase of three new ECG machines means that we now have a unit in all critical care areas like Emergency, ICU and Surgical Recovery. Increased access to this technology saves time because staff don’t have to locate a machine. Now, we have instant access when we need it in the most critical situations!”
The next upgrade in the Cardio-Respiratory Service is moving ECG reports to digital format through a recently purchased software platform. This will permit Dr. Bonta and his colleagues to provide formal interpretation of ECGs in real-time, allowing for patients seen in all clinical environments of the hospital to have a diagnosis made that can guide essential treatments.
The Internal Medicine Department is yet another example of the commitment that CGMH has in pursuing advancement in care and being a leader in rural medicine so that patients in our community can have access the best care possible. We are so fortunate to have a community of donors who recognizes that supporting the needs of our present hospital and medical professionals is the best way we can prepare for the future of healthcare at CGMH.