Horizon eliminating surgery cancellations for patients with, or at risk for, sleep apnea with new patient monitoring system

All New Brunswickers deserve accessible and quality health care and a positive patient experience, and this initiative is one example of how Horizon is committed to providing that every day.

(FREDERICTON) – Thanks to the installation of a new, non-invasive monitoring technology, Masimo Patient SafetyNet (PSN), Horizon is eliminating surgery cancellations related to patients with, or at risk for, sleep apnea at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital (DECRH).

Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that causes your breathing to stop repeatedly while you sleep. These breathing pauses or “apneas” usually last 10 to 30 seconds and can happen many times throughout the night. Surgical patients with sleep apnea are at increased risk of having perioperative complications, including hypoxemia, pneumonia, difficult intubation, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, atelectasis, cardiac arrhythmias, and unanticipated admission to the ICU.

The Masimo PSN device provides continuous monitoring of oxygen saturation, pulse rate, respiration rate and is ideal for monitoring surgical patients with sleep apnea through a phone and central monitor, immediately alerting a nurse if a patient’s vital signs drop below a specific parameter. Although new to Horizon, the device has also been proven to reduce rapid response team activations and reduce transfers to the intensive care unit in other jurisdictions.

Since the launch of the pilot project in October 2023, there have been zero surgery cancellations related to sleep apnea monitoring and over 100 patients have been monitored using the new technology. In the 12 months prior to the installation of the Masimo PSN, 42 surgeries at the DECRH were cancelled due to sleep apnea monitoring staffing constraints.

“Improving surgical access for patients aligns with our critical action plan of providing access to safe and quality services,” said Dr. Patricia Bryden, Horizon’s Executive Clinical/Academic Department Head, Co-Leader of Surgical and Critical Care. “We are consistently looking for and implementing innovative solutions to enhance overall patient care and I’m very encouraged by this positive outcome.”

“We continue to look for ways to improve the patient experience by reducing surgical cancellations and wait times to provide timely and quality care,” said Greg Doiron, Vice President Clinical Operations. “Thank you to our nurse managers and our surgical services and maternity unit staff at the DECRH for their efforts in piloting this technology in Fredericton.”

In addition to its potential health and system benefits, the technology has resulted in an organizational cost-savings of over $40,000 since October 2023 and is predicted to save $160,000 annually in labour costs. Horizon plans to implement the system at its three other regional hospitals in the coming months.

Horizon has a plan to improve health care in New Brunswick. Our plan is focused on retention and recruitment efforts and improving the overall patient experience by addressing patient flow and access to services. Further details about Horizon’s four priority areas are available at HorizonNB.ca. This initiative also supports the Government of New Brunswick’s provincial health plan, Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action.

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