Published Apr 30th, 2020

TKA Biomed Technicians Use Creativity and Ingenuity in the Midst of the Coronavirus Crisis



The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has impacted the way hospitals and healthcare systems must operate and provide patient care. During these times, innovation, creative thinking, and swift ingenuity are critical to providing successful treatments to all patients.

We recently had the opportunity to speak with the TKA Healthcare Technology Management (HTM) Directors who are working on the ground each day with their teams in Southern California. Each hospital has faced unique challenges and TKA teams have been tasked with finding creative solutions. Here is what we heard:

As essential employees, TKA teams are adapting to new every day “normals” like the rest of us, such as adhering to social distancing requirements in the workplace. Dave Meyer of Valley Children’s Hospital says, “We are trying to figure out how to work normally but also practice social distancing. There is a higher level of communication required and a need to better utilize technology. For example, we now troubleshoot issues via FaceTime rather than send multiple technicians to a piece of equipment. This is helpful even in non-COVID times as it will allow for faster response times.”

At St. Joseph Health System’s Mission Hospital, Franco Petruzzella and his team have had to expand the hospital’s ICU. “We moved 6 monitors from the recovery area, thereby expanding the ICU from 4 beds to 10. Our clients count on us to have the right partnerships to be able to expand and flex very quickly based on needs,” says Petruzzella

“Here at St. Joseph Health System’s St. Mary Medical Center, our team helped build out a half of a wing for negative air pressure isolation,” said Director, Mike Barragan, “In a typical scenario, a manufacturer needs to be involved but our team was able to accomplish this which saved the hospital time.”

In addition, TKA teams have been leading the charge on testing ventilators that are critical to the care of COVID-19 patients. Lance Krone of St Joseph Health System’s St. Jude Medical Center explained, “Before the quarantine, we received 12 new Avea ventilators. The vendor unboxed some of the units and did not fully assemble the ventilators. Once Coronavirus hit, the vendor was pulled for other projects and could not come back to complete the assembly. We have 2 Biomed Technicians who are trained on the Avea ventilators and they finished them up, getting them ready for patient use. Our Respiratory Director was very happy!”

Krone continues, “The team also helped set up a wing for Dialysis treatment for COVID-19 patients. We were creative in finding a water source and drainage. This kept the patients from traveling to other towers for treatment and helps protect staff.” The ability to be creative find innovative solutions has allowed the partners we serve to continue care delivery and at the same time, protect the staff.

TKA’s commitment to patient care mirrors that of the hospital. It’s front and center in everything we do. Because we understand that by ensuring their medical technology is always at-the-ready, we empower our partners to provide the exceptional level of care patients expect — and deserve. We are all in this together.

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