Catheterisation Laboratory

Donations are needed to fund a second Catheterisation Laboratory (Cath Lab) in order provide the foundations for Bendigo Health to offer 24/7 service for emergency cardiac interventions.

A portion of raised funds was allocated to purchasing and installing this 2nd Cath Lab in the new Bendigo Hospital when opened in January 2017.

To perform emergency cardiac procedures in a Cathlab, medical imaging equipment called a fluoroscopy machine is used to view real-time moving pictures of the heart and coronary arteries. This helps cardiologists diagnose disease and guides them during procedures – such as stents or angioplasty to open blocked blood vessels that supply blood to the heart.

Ischaemic heart disease (also known as coronary heart disease) can ultimately lead to heart attack. It is the leading cause of death in Australia. People living outside major Australian cities are 44% more likely to die from this disease than those living in major cities, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.  Advances and improvements in the treatment and care of patients with heart disease have reduced fatalities over the last decade, however timely treatment and prevention is a priority.

Bendigo Health plays a crucial role as the major hospital for more than a quarter of Victoria, with a population of 300,000+ people. Greater Bendigo and the surrounding regions of Loddon Mallee and Central Goldfields has one of the highest rates of heart attacks in Victoria. Currently, Bendigo has only one Cath Lab to assess and treat heart conditions including emergency cases. Smaller peripheral hospitals also look to Bendigo Health for support for most of their cardiac concerns and yet at least one patient a week in the region needs to be transferred to a Melbourne Cath Lab for an urgent procedure.

Time is everything in an emergency. The longer the artery is acutely blocked, the more heart tissue dies. Wasting time with transfers to Melbourne for these procedures is not only financially costly, at $12,000 per ambulance transfer, it also risks lives.

Donations are now needed to help Bendigo Health fund the second Cath Lab.

A second Cath Lab also acts as a back-up for the current equipment and will provide medical and nursing students with more training opportunities in cardiac procedures and further enhance Bendigo Health’s reputation.

Importantly, the second Cath Lab will allow Bendigo Health to save time, money and lives in the Loddon Mallee community for those affected by heart disease – Australia’s biggest killer.

Automated Dispensing System – Electronic Drug Imprest & Automated Robotic Medication System

Medication management and medication safety is of paramount importance for major hospitals that provide care for thousands of patients each year. New technologies are available to improve medication safety. Many hospitals have already adopted such technology – Electronic Drug Imprest (EDI) systems – and have reported on improvements in medication safety, security and accountability.

An EDI replaces manual systems in clinical areas where nursing staff need close access to patient medications. The EDI stations are stocked by Pharmacy, which receive automatic alerts when stocks are low. This ensures stock medications are always replenished and nurses no longer need to wait for medications to be delivered and their patients receive drug therapies faster. This system saves nursing staff time, as stocks are replenished without having to manually order and wait for patient medications. Patients therefore receive their drug treatments faster. An EDI is like an ATM that requires a pin for access and the nurse to enter the medication they wish to remove. The system also provides real-time inventory information including usage, date, time, quantity, staff and patient information. EDI’s also make it easier for health professionals to manage medication expiration dates. Pharmacists can remotely manage all EDI stations, located across clinical areas, from within the Pharmacy Department.

The EDI system will also improve safety, efficiency and costs associated with medicine use and management.

Additionally, donations are required to purchase an Automated Robotic Medication System (ARMS)  to store and dispense medications direct to pharmacists and prepare medication for ward EDI.  This system will ensure Bendigo Health remains at the forefront of technology required in a busy modern hospital pharmacy that is focused on patient care.

Hospital pharmacists provide invaluable help and advice in all aspects of patients’ medicines. They are an important part of the healthcare team and are involved in monitoring medication usage, counselling patients, providing drug information and advice to health professionals.

New technologies have become available to free up pharmacists for more direct patient care that also save money and wastage. Robotics have revolutionised how drugs are stored and dispensed.

An ARMS can store up to 40,000 items and quickly deliver medicines direct to a pharmacist and prepare medication for ward Electronic Drug Imprests. It does the mundane work of pharmacy departments and saves a lot of time in the dispensary; basically doing paperwork and producing labels. Importantly for direct patient care, an ARMS will free up Pharmacy staff time for more high-level activities.

Bendigo Health is looking to join the age of automation in order to provide valuable pharmacy staff time for more important direct patient care.

Ophthalmic Microscope & Retinal Machine

An ophthalmic microscope is specially designed to magnify parts of the eye’s anatomy in order to provide interventional high-level eye surgery. Currently, if you live in the Loddon Mallee region and require high-level surgery to save or improve your eyesight, the only option is to go to Melbourne for treatment.

Sight is so precious. If you suffer a serious eye injury, or from a health condition or disease that risks your eyesight, surgery may be the only way to save your sight.

Many young Australians, particularly males under the age of 25, risk their eyesight each year from injuries and accidents that require surgery. As our population ages, more and more Australians’ eyesight will diminish; with surgery the only option for many to retain or restore their sight and remain independent.

We are fortunate that today’s sophisticated microscopes give surgeons much greater illumination and visualisation that their micro-surgical techniques demand for repairing and restoring eyesight.

These microscopes also provide digital images/video in real-time for surgeons to demonstrate and record their work and train the next generation of surgeons.

Ophthalmic surgical microscopes continue to evolve. Bendigo Health seeks to provide the community with the latest technology which will attract high professional Ophthalmologists (eye surgeons) to the region, advance training opportunities and, most importantly, provide an important and currently unavailable patient treatment at Bendigo Health.