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Published on January 05, 2021

Technology Transforms Maternity Campus into
North Carolina’s First COVID-19 Only Hospital

 Health system protects patients and care teams with innovative solutions.

 

Within 28 days, Cone Health transformed its former women’s health campus into a designated COVID-19 hospital. Using teamwork and technology, the Cone Health Green Valley campus in Greensboro, North Carolina became the area’s first specialized COVID-19 hospital, boasting the latest development in coronavirus care, negative pressure ventilation, and hands-free communication throughout the facility.Smartphone with photo of staff call on it 

More than 80 leaders from multi-disciplinary teams across the health system were involved in redesigning the former Women’s Hospital and opening it as a COVID-19 only facility in April of 2020. By year end, more than 1,500 patients had received care at the 116-bed COVID-19 hospital. A place once dedicated to bringing new life into the world, is now dedicated to keeping life from ending too soon. 

“It was exactly what we needed for our community. We wanted the new COVID-19 hospital to be the safest place in the city,” said Brent McQuaid, MD, chief medical officer at Cone Health’s COVID-only campus. “We also wanted to design an environment to protect and empower staff with the right tools and technology, remove physical barriers, and enable them to provide hands-on care at the bedside without worry or fear of contamination.” 

The health system’s Lean team and infectious disease team joined forces to ensure that clinical workflows, operational processes, and technology solutions were safe and efficient. Among the approved innovations used to protect and connect care teams in the COVID-19 hospital is the wearable Vocera Smartbadge

The voice-controlled Smartbadge enables team members to communicate hands-frees and can be worn under personal protective equipment (PPE). A nurse, doctor, or other team member can initiate communication by simply saying, “OK, Vocera” followed by voice commands like “call respiratory therapist” or “call Code Blue team.” The Smartbadge, along with the Vocera Vina smartphone app, is also being used in the new Women’s & Children’s Center at Moses Cone Hospital to help care teams provide exceptional and personal care.

“Many patients need hands-on care, whether they are a sick baby or an elderly man with COVID-19, which is why hands-free communication is ideal for many clinicians; but there also are times when clinicians need to exchange more context about the patient situation, and a secure mobile app is preferred,” said Kenneth Rempher PhD, RN, executive vice president of acute care services and chief nurse executive at Cone Health. 

“Regardless of device or whether our clinicians are working in the new women’s hospital or at the COVID-only campus, our care teams have the essential tools and technology needed to provide safe, compassionate and high-quality care,” said Cathy Cochran, RN, executive director of clinical informatics at Cone Health.