MedWest-Harris installs new high-tech systems in labor and delivery unit

Mar 07, 2013

SYLVA —  MedWest-Harris completed installation on two systems that will enhance the level of care provided to mothers and babies on the labor and delivery unit located on the third floor of the hospital.
The technology that enables physicians and nursing staff to monitor a baby’s progress during labor was replaced with a new system outfitted with features that provide the most advanced upgrades in fetal monitoring. Physicians can log in from any computer to monitor the real-time progression of mothers and babies during labor, allowing them to instantly see important changes and manage their time efficiently on the unit with all of their patients. Nursing staff completed training on the new system and have been using the technology for several weeks.
“This fetal monitoring system is an incredible advancement for our hospital. Now we will be able to make sure a fetus is stable from any location with internet capability,” said Janine Keever, MD with Smoky Mountain OB/GYN and Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
There will be several upgrades allowing for improved care for babies needing respiratory assistance due to respiratory distress with or without pneumonia. The labor and delivery unit at MedWest-Harris is classified as a Level II or "specialty care" nursery, which means physicians and staff are trained to care for babies who are breathing on their own but have conditions that require close monitoring and additional medical treatment.
“Our Level II nursery provides enhanced services and care for near-term and term newborns otherwise not found west of Asheville, in this southwest region of North Carolina,” said Charles Toledo, MD with WNC Pediatric & Adolescent Care and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The recent updates in technology are in place in advance of a major renovation to the facility, planned to begin this spring. The New Generations Family Birthing Center is a $3 million upgrade to the labor and delivery floor, which will include a Caesarean section operating room on the unit as well as other improvements to the physical space. The MedWest-Harris and Swain Foundation is heading up the fund-raising efforts for The New Generations Family Birthing Center.
“Our physicians, midwives and nurses deliver and care for nearly 650 babies at MedWest-Harris each year,” said Vicki Lewis, director of comprehensive family services at MedWest-Harris. “We are pleased to provide our community with these improvements in technology and surroundings so our physical space will match the level of care we’ve been providing to families for years.”
Changes and upgrades will also take place in the special care nursery. Included will be enhanced monitoring and improvements in delivery of therapeutic modalities.
For  information on the facility or how to donate to the campaign,  call the MedWest-Harris and Swain Foundation at 631-8924.