“These solutions are truly unique,” Dr. Pituch states. “Nowhere in the world has technology like this been used to notify personnel of a patient’s sleep status and stratify patient care interventions based on sleep status or even to generally protect patient sleep.
“Nursing staff, physicians, surgeons, and technicians are appreciating how important sleep protection is for patients,” Dr. Pituch adds. “They are all supporting our research efforts.”
Next steps are to begin using the Z-machines to measure and record how much sleep patients actually get. “The goal is to move care and interventions around the patient’s sleep rather than our convenience,” Ms. D’Antonio says. “We are looking to protect sleep, because we understand how valuable that is to patient health and satisfaction, especially when the length of stay is longer.”
According to Dr. Pituch, “a review of the literature worldwide shows that nobody anywhere in the world is doing anything like this. It’s really groundbreaking, and we believe it can lead to a host of new opportunities to improve hospital care. I’m grateful to the Shadyside Hospital Foundation for supporting this project, and for supporting two full-time improvement specialists who make care safer and more efficient throughout UPMC Shadyside.”
G. Nicholas Beckwith III, chairperson of the UPMC Board of Directors, describes the sleep team’s work so far as “truly compelling. This is a wonderful example of how we can start tackling a problem that needs to be tackled, and needs to be cured.”