With an eye toward improving patient safety and comfort, Wilbarger General Hospital recently purchased 14 new beds for inpatient rooms on the 3rd Floor, along with five new stretchers for the Emergency Room and three new stretchers for the Surgery Department.
Of the 24 beds in the Med/Surg Unit on 3rd Floor, 10 were purchased 22 years ago, in 1995, and the other 14 were purchased prior to 1995. With 10 years being the average life expectancy of a hospital bed, WGH has definitely gotten its money’s worth out of the old beds and hospital administrators hope these new beds, which were put into service on Monday, June 26, hold up just as well.
“These new beds are great,” said Med/Surg Nurse Manager Michelle Creason RN. “One of our top priorities is patient safety and one of our biggest concerns is patient falls. This bed can actually help reduce patient falls.”
The new beds are GoBed II models from Stryker Medical, and the company worked very hard with Wilbarger General to ensure the hospital could afford the beds, which are compatible with WGH’s current nurse call system.
The new beds feature full length siderail coverage, which aids in patient safety, and is only 14.5 inches off the ground at its lowest height. The low bed height promotes proper patient positioning for safe entry and exit from the bed.
“The full length siderails provide extra security for our patients,” Creason explained. “The lower height on these beds makes it easier for our patients to get in and out, and it also makes it easier on our nurses when they help patients in and out of the bed.”
The beds also have a three-way bed exit alarm that allows nurses to know when a patient who should not be getting out of bed without assistance does just that. There is also a plug at the end of the bed that can be used for equipment or items, such as compression hose, that need electricity.
“Having the plug at the end of the bed helps eliminate having cords lying on the floor, which can be a fall hazard,” Creason said. “There is also a control panel at the end of the bed and the nurse can control everything from there if they need to.”
All of the beds have bed scales and can weight patients while they are lying down. All of the beds are built to accommodate patients up to 500 pounds, and the hospital purchased one bariatric bed that can accommodate up to 1,000 pounds.
For those taller patients, Wilbarger General now has bed extensions which make the hospital bed approximately 2 feet longer to help make those patients as comfortable as possible.
The head of the bed can also be raised to the point where the patient is sitting in a cardiac care position, which is important for those who are in the hospital due to a heart issue an may not be able to get out of the bed.
Two of the new beds were purchased specifically for the hospital’s Monitored Bed Unit and those beds have gel/air mattresses to help reduce skin breakdown that can occur during extended hospital stays.
“These beds are better quality than our old beds,” Creason said. “These beds make it easier on our patients and on our staff. We’ve been using them for about a week and we’ve had nothing but compliments on them.”
The five new ER stretchers also have gel mattresses and integrated bed scales, and have additional wheels for better maneuverability. The three new stretchers for Surgery are basic stretchers with IV poles.