A heart monitor is a very crucial equipment used in the medical field to run important diagnostic testing for patients. Thanks to Interior Health and Royal Inland Hospital Foundation, medical sites across the region will be receiving heart monitor upgrades. The new ‘Holters’ will improve patient access to important diagnostic testing and enhance timely access for physicians and nurse practitioners to these reports.

A Holter monitor is a portable monitor used to record heart rhythm for 24 hours through continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) tracing. This service is offered at 31 sites across IH.

“Without the support of the RIH Foundation and the donors, this project to this extent would not have been possible,” said Interior Health vice president of clinical operations, Dr. Shallen Letwin.

“We’re proud to be able to provide first-class cardiac care to people living across the Interior region.”

Diagnostic cancellation or the need for diagnostics due to equipment issues will be avoided with the introduction of the brand new devices and system. Wait times for results will now be decreased as sites are now able to share the workload to scan the Holter exams should one site have too many data to process.

A total of 275 Holter monitors along with 25 remote license keys and 16 license keys have been purchased and distributed throughout the region. There will be eight scanning sites and 24 remote sites involved with the upgrade. For the Nicola Valley General Hospital in Merritt, the four available monitors have been replaced.

“The Thompson Cariboo Shuswap region was the first of four phases to be rolled out, and went live on March 17, 2022” explained by Interior Health.

“This includes Royal Inland Hospital and all surrounding sites; Merritt, Chase, Lilllooet, Barriere, Ashcroft, Clearwater, 100 Mile House that upload monitoring data to be scanned in Kamloops.”

Dr. Shawn Pun is the designated doctor from Kamloops to read data from Merritt.

“As a physician, it’s convenient to be able to report Holter results from any computer,” said Pun.

“This system has great potential to reduce current Holter reporting turnaround times, a huge benefit to both our patients and health-care providers.”

Bill and Catherina Humphrey’s estate had made a generous donation to help Interior Health and RIH foundation complete this initiative.

“The Royal Inland Hospital Foundation is proud to take care of our big family at Interior Health. The impact of this legacy donation is greater than we could have ever wished for,” explained Heidi Coleman, CEO of the RIH Foundation.

All sites in IH will be provided with new equipment to replace older monitors and scanning software. Phased out equipment still within its operational life will be donated to other areas in need. Implementation started in March and the rollout across IH will be complete in June.