Wireless monitors mean kids receiving intensive care will soon be back on the move


When COVID-19 protocols allow hospitalized children to leave their rooms again, patients in the pediatric intensive care unit and pediatric cardiac intensive care unit (PICU/PCICU) at UC Davis Children’s Hospital will be able to roam freely. Thanks to a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN) grant, wireless technology is now in place. That means patients will be able to walk the halls of the unit, go for a ride in a wagon or stroller or go to the playroom while still being safely monitored. 

A CMN grant funded the upgrade of monitors to enable wireless capabilities. Photo taken pre-COVID-19
A CMN grant funded the upgrade of monitors to enable wireless capabilities. Photo taken pre-COVID-19

“Before the upgrade, when a patient wanted to move around, we couldn’t always accommodate them. They needed to stay connected to an in-room monitor so we could see the vital statistics of all patients centrally,  in real-time,” said nursing manager Virpal Donley. “And when kids were mobile, we’d have to detach the in-room monitor. Of course, we could still view vitals on the small screen, but we lost the ability to see it on our shared monitors. This upgrade changes that.” 

Now, wireless monitoring throughout the unit means patients can be out of their rooms and staff will still have access to their vitals via central screens, regardless of where the children are in the unit. It’s a win-win for staff and patients, and one more thing to look forward to post-COVID-19. 

“Once we can allow patients to safely leave their rooms and meet in group spaces, the children being treated in the PICU can experience some freedom. They can play in the playroom. They can enjoy just being kids. That’s the most important part,” said Judie Boehmer, executive director, patient care services at UC Davis Health. “I am so grateful to CMN for providing us with this technology to help normalize the hospital environment and provide the best experience for our pediatric patients and their families.”

UC Davis Children's Hospital is the Sacramento region's only nationally ranked, comprehensive hospital providing care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults with primary, subspecialty and critical care. It includes the Central Valley's only pediatric emergency department and level I pediatric trauma center, which offers the highest level of care for its critically ill patients, as well as a level I children’s surgery center. The 129-bed children's hospital includes the state-of-the-art 49-bed neonatal and 24-bed pediatric intensive care and pediatric cardiac intensive care units. For more information, visit children.ucdavis.edu.