Spotlight on: Technology Dependant Rooms

In late 2006, a Task Force was formed at the MCH to develop a proposal for technology dependant rooms (TDR). The goal was to establish a multidisciplinary team approach to providing quality holistic care for technology dependant children. This environment was envisioned as a safe, technically oriented, hospital setting where children who are chronically dependent on advanced respiratory support could be cared for in an environment free of nosocomial infection risk. For the past three decades, continuous advances in the fields of pediatric intensive care have led to dramatic improvement in survival of critically ill children with childhood diseases that would have previously been fatal. One of the consequences of these medical advances is a continuous increase in the number of children living with respiratory conditions that require technology. These children then needed long stays in the intensive care units or one-to-one monitoring to be able to transfer them to a medical or surgical unit.

The Task Force recommended a dedicated MCH area for children dependant on respiratory technology that is housed within an existing in-patient unit. Long-term ventilated in-patients for whom there exists no alternative outside resources would be housed within this area to facilitate RT coverage. A multidisciplinary approach to care would attend to the children’s ongoing growth and development needs.

The Task Force examined the data and suggested that a 6-bed configuration is the best model of care. The Technology Dependant Rooms (TDR) would be a part of the surgical unit to permit effective use of human, material and financial resources. Key MCH stakeholders were consulted and 7C2 was chosen as the ideal location, using rooms 706 and 740 which can accommodate 3 patients per room, plus a central nursing station with monitors, computer, and phone line.

In addition, the task force made the following recommendations. The beds would be kept full at all times to ensure a nurse patient ratio of 1 nurse to 3 patients in order to ensure proper surveillance of these technology dependant patients. These beds could also be used for clean surgical technology dependant patients requiring close observation if needed.

The TDR opened in October 2007 as part of the beds on 7C2 and slowly began transferring patients while training the new staff, adjusting the environment to maximize the limited space and ensure the very best care for these children.