How portable diagnostic technology is keeping our patients close to quality care

As a proud Uxbridge resident of more than 40 years, David is grateful for the comfort, safety, and strong sense of community it has provided him and his family. And because of a new, donor-funded piece of equipment at Uxbridge Hospital, it is now also giving him – and hundreds of patients like him – access to more efficient, targeted, and convenient care, right in their backyard and at their bedside.

David was no stranger to hospitals, having undergone a triple bypass nearly two decades ago. However, when he recently found himself facing mounting heart issues, and more frequent visits as a result, David knew he was in good hands at his local hospital.

“Uxbridge offers the kind of personal experience my family and I cherish,” shares David. “You’re not just a number. They always have your best interest at heart because they’re your neighbours. And even though they’re a small hospital, I’m often blown away by the high level of care you can expect to receive, just like at any larger facility.”

And this is where the hospital’s innovative new bedside ultrasound comes in.

Due to a leak in his bicuspid valve, David must now undergo regular, hours-long paracentesis to locate and drain excess fluid in his abdomen. Though this would typically require a follow-up appointment using a traditional ultrasound machine, or even a blind assessment where the risks are much greater, the new equipment could be brought right to David’s bedside, making the procedure safer, speedier, and much more comfortable.

And what made the experience even better was that it was with a familiar face – Dr. Carlye Jensen, David’s family physician.

Dr. Caryle Jensen came to Uxbridge Hospital in 2007 to practise family medicine, emergency medicine, and hospitalist work.

“The bedside ultrasound provides a clear picture of the patient’s situation right at the moment of care, showing us exactly what we’re dealing with so we can make the best possible care decisions,” shares Dr. Jensen. “This means we can avoid changing locations, travelling to a further hospital, or even waiting long periods for another appointment, adding more burden to an already-overworked health care system.”

Whether it’s determining the cause of spotting in pregnancy or uncovering whether a lump is a hive, abscess, or something else entirely, the bedside ultrasound allows practitioners to quickly understand the complete picture. They can then avoid making patients jump through additional hoops or putting them through painful, costly, or complicated procedures when they may not be needed.

And thanks to its portable functionality, Dr. Jensen says it can be shared between multiple care settings, from the emergency room to the ward, and even beyond the hospital walls. “We can bring it to after-hours care, our walk-in clinic, or even palliative care where we otherwise wouldn’t have this capability. It’s opening countless doors for the care we provide our patients and we’re so grateful
to the donors who made it possible.”

For David, the bedside ultrasound is yet another reason his pride in his community – and the beloved hospital that cares for it – is at an all-time high.

“We’re blessed to have the hospital so close to home, and it’s important we continue to support it as a community so this kind of equipment can become the norm. You never know when you or someone close to you will need it, so by giving back, you can pay it forward for yourself and future generations.”

This patient’s name was changed to remain anonymous.

This story appeared in Uxbridge Hospital Foundation’s spring 2023 newsletter Our Community. Your Impact.