Velindre Cancer Centre partners with Vernacare to put patient dignity first
Written by Janet Kilpatrick
The specialist cancer hospital, based in Whitchurch, Cardiff, has introduced the new VernaFem female urinal to offer immobile patients greater independence and comfort in toileting.
The award winning single use female urinal has been launched by UK medical products manufacturer Vernacare as a safe, dignified and time-saving new method of continence care for females who are unable to get out of bed to use a commode or toilet.
Nina Price, Infection Control Nurse for Velindre said: "VernaFem has liberated a number of our very ill, bed-bound ladies. Some patients with spinal cord compression who have been dependent on nurses to roll them on and off a slipper pan to pass water, or who have required manual handling to manoeuvre them onto a commode, have gained independence in toileting themselves. This is a hygienic, comfortable and dignified method of toileting that raises standards of patient care."
She added: "Female urinals can be a crucial aid to patients when making the transition to community care and this is something that we are encouraging. The ability for cancer sufferers to be able to toilet themselves independently, particularly in the night, is very beneficial and reduces care needs. We are, therefore, pleased that we are able to introduce patients to this new method in hospital so that they might feel confident in continuing the method at home."
VernaFem has been developed in partnership with NHS Trusts from across the UK, who were involved from product design phase through to prototype evaluation. VernaFem provides a cost effective alternative to other continence care options, such as catheterisation, bedpans and pads.
The product has been designed to empower patients to toilet themselves with little or no assistance from healthcare staff. This is important in increasing patient dignity, confidence and self esteem. Because VernaFem is a single-use pulp product it provides a hygienic option that can reduce the cost burden of healthcare acquired infections
The urinal's wide base provides stability while maximising capacity. It has a wide opening to reduce spillage and a curved lip, which moulds to the female body for ease and comfort in a range of positions - from lying down to sitting.
VernaFem is made from recycled newspaper at Vernacare's UK production facility. As such, it can be disposed of sustainably using pulp disposal units, also manufactured by Vernacare. By using this hygienic disposal method, hospitals can also improve their environmental performance since, after use, the urinals disintegrate into minute fragments that wash away down the drains using a cold water process.
Schneider Electric's intelligent patient room: need to know
Schneider Electric has launched a virtual showcase that features its new "intelligent patient room". What is it exactly?
Who: Schneider Electric is a multinational that develops energy and automation solutions for many different industries - including hospitality, education, defence, and healthcare. Founded in 1836, today it is a Fortune 500 company, and it currently provides technology to 40% of hospitals around the world, among them Penn Medicine, one of the top hospitals in the US where Schneider's EcoStruxure for Healthcare is deployed, an IoT solution.
What: Schneider has launched its Innovation Experience Live Healthcare Lab, an immersive experience that takes visitors through a demonstration of a hospital, including the doctor’s office, the operating room, and the intelligent patient room.
The room features a digital patient footwall - a touchscreen that creates a single reference point for patients, families and healthcare providers, by incorporating care information, entertainment and environmental controls all in one place. A separate digital patient door display has important information for healthcare staff.
All Schneider's equipment is low-voltage, and integrated so that the patient room, clinical needs and IT are all seamlessly connected, what Schneider calls a digital “system of systems.”
Why: Mike Sanders, Customer Projects & Services in Healthcare Innovation at Schneider Electric, explains: “The hospital of the future will need to put the patient experience at the forefront, using innovative and connected systems to provide superior in-hospital care experiences.”
“With the shift to remote work and business brought forth by the pandemic, we knew that we needed to invest in a new virtual experience that showcases our vision for a truly integrated healthcare experience. We believe our intelligent patient room is the solution that our healthcare partners and customers have been looking for, and we’re excited to offer a way for them to experience it no matter where they are in the world.”
Where: The virtual experience was modelled after the new innovations installed at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, the first real-world installation of Schneider Electric’s fully integrated intelligent patient room technology. It is currently being hosted at the company’s St. Louis Innovation Hub and Innovation Executive Briefing Center (IEBC) facility.