Patient Monitors for use in PACU
The first step in choosing a patient monitor is deciding what you need it to do. Usually this depends on where you will be using it in your facility. For instance, outpatient recovery (PACU) will most likely require the monitor have ECG, NIBP, and SpO2. Other options that may be required would be respiration, end-tidal CO2 monitoring, temperature and an internal thermal recorder.
A recorder is helpful for printing history (which most modern patient monitors offer) to see trends or events that may have taken place during monitoring. Most patient monitors will also print on an alarm in order to have an immediate record of the event that has or is taking place. Some facilities also require end-tidal CO2 monitoring in PACU / recovery now. This appears to be a trend that will continue and possibly eventually become legislated as a mandatory monitoring standard by regulatory bodies.
When purchasing a patient monitor for any environment, ensure that it is FDA approved. Also, all patient monitors should be electrically safety tested and performance tested by a qualified biomedical repair/maintenance technician prior to being declared “patient ready”. Lastly, always check local codes and with regulatory bodies for specific requirements in your locale and/or facility.
Stay tuned next week when we discuss how to choose the right patient monitor for another area of a hospital.
Thanks for reading,