Peterson Regional Medical Center is undergoing an overhaul of its hospital beds.

On Wednesday morning, the beds were being taken from the loading dock to rooms. 

Lori Michel, clinical coordinator and nursing administrator, said 114 will be replaced. The project has been about a year in the making. The No. 1 reason for the replacement is patient safety, she said.

“It helps with fall prevention and pressure ulcer prevention,” Michel said.

For example, the new beds come with verbal safety 

prompts to tell patients to get back into bed, a motion-activated nightlight and brake alarm.

The beds, which are manufactured by Hill Rom, feature slide guards that reduce the risk of skin shearing. Skin shearing commonly happens when a patient’s skin rubs against the bed’s sheets, Michel said. 

Other features include USB ports to charge electronic devices, storage for those electronic devices, Wi-Fi capabilities and touchscreen technology for bed controls.

The beds also have the capability to extend for taller patients, are easier to maneuver and have lights that are illuminated on the floor to alert staff of the bed alarm, side rails and bed position.

“Before, if we had a taller patient, we had to rent a bed, but now every bed can extend (to) 88 inches,” Michel said. 

Eventually, every bed will be outfitted with a new mattress, which are also extendable, she said. 

“It’s the small stuff,” Michel said.

Each bed costs about $8,284, making the total $944,000 to replace all the beds.

By Wednesday afternoon, more than 60 patients were in the new and improved beds.

“The nurses and patients are so excited,” Michel said.

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