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Interior Health to upgrade its heart monitors

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Interior Health (IH) patients will have better access to diagnostic testing, as improved heart monitors are being installed across the region’s health care centres.

IH officials said the new monitors will also give physicians and nurse practitioners more timely access to these reports.

Heart (or Holter) monitors are used to observe cardiac rhythms via continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) for 24 hours or more.

IH officials said this service is offered at 31 sites across its region.

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“For patients, the brand new devices and system will prevent diagnostic cancellation or the need for diagnostics due to equipment issues,” said IH staff. “Sites can also share the workload to scan the Holter exams if one site has an unexpected increased volume, decreasing the time to get results.”

IH said the project came from collaborative efforts between itself and the Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) Foundation.

“Without the support of the RIH Foundation and the donors, this project to this extent would not have been possible,” said Interior Health vice president of clinical operations, Dr. Shallen Letwin. “We’re proud to be able to provide first-class cardiac care to people living\ across the Interior region.”

“The Royal Inland Hospital Foundation is proud to take care of our big family at Interior Health. The impact of this legacy donation is greater than we could have ever wished for,” explained Heidi Coleman, CEO of the RIH Foundation.

IH staff said all of its sites will be provided with new equipment to replace older monitors and scanning software.

Older equipment within its operational life will be donated to other areas.

Work to replace older heart monitors started in March, and officials expect the full roll-out to be finished in June.

“As a physician, it’s convenient to be able to report Holter results from any computer,” said Dr. Shawn Pun of Kamloops. “This system  has great potential to reduce current Holter reporting turnaround times, a huge benefit to both our patients and health-care providers.”

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