NORTHAMPTON — Cooley Dickinson Hospital employees raised $48,477 in six weeks to underwrite the cost of eight new beds for the hospital’s Telemetry unit, sending a strong message about patient care at the 125-bed community hospital.
Employees had the option of contributing through weekly payroll deductions or one-time gifts. “This unprecedented amount was raised in a very short time,” said Diane Dukette, director of development. “We are extremely grateful to everyone who pledged their support.”
In November, CDH replaced 130 beds throughout the hospital’s seven inpatient units, swapping 16-to-17-year-old beds with new beds and mattresses. The employee appeal, started during the first week of November and wrapped up in early December, helps to defray the cost of the purchase of eight of the 130 beds.
Benefits of the new beds include comfort and reduced risk of skin irritations for patients. For staff, the beds contain scales so weighing a patient is as simple as a push of a button. More importantly, said nursing supervisor Kathleen Korza, the patient beds are equipped with alarms. “The new beds help our efforts to reduce patient falls, common among elderly patients or others who may be confused by their surroundings.” Korza said the beds are equipped with three levels of sensitivity so that settings can be individualized based on patient needs.
The Telemetry unit is known for its state-of-the-art monitoring equipment that constantly provides a patient’s vital signs (including pulse, blood pressure, and oxygen level) at the bedside and in the centrally located nurses station. Tele-metry equipment is used to monitor patients as they grow healthier and uses radio waves to provide continuous updates on vital signs even as patients walk around the unit, Korza added.