Essentia Health announced Wednesday how much technology will play a role in significantly enhancing the patient and visitor experience at the replacement St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth

After seeing their list of technology that is available at the new facility, one wonders how we ever lived without it!

In their press release, Essentia Health says that throughout the planning and design phases, their focus was on patients and their families, leading them to institute several state-of-the-art features that will benefit both patients as well as their care teams.

The new technology in place at the new St. Mary's Medical Center includes:

  • A patient education and entertainment system in each private patient room. This provides a hotel-like experience with more than 100 new-release movies and TV shows, 50 channels of live television, the ability to stream concerts and worship services from our chapel, and options to cast from your smartphone. Patients will also be able to view members of their care team and request assistance.
  • Enhanced surgery notifications to help visitors keep track of loved ones while they undergo a procedure. This text-based system sends notifications to family and friends, updating them on every significant step of the patient’s procedure from pre-op to post-op.
  • Digital wayfinding, making it easier to get around their downtown Duluth campus. When patients enter the hospital, they will find a wayfinding kiosk. With the help of an app, patients and visitors can navigate the hospital and be provided with step-by-step instructions on how to get to their destination. This kiosk will also show instructions for those that don’t want to use the app. There will also be several two-way video intercoms on each floor of the hospital, allowing people to talk to a real person if they need directions.
  • Elevators throughout the facility promise to make patient transport easier and quicker. These "intuitive" elevators do more than just go up and down. Each elevator bank has a tablet that asks you to select a floor. It then schedules an elevator that will get you to that floor in the most efficient manner. Additionally, they will have the ability to commandeer an elevator so it can be used only by staff in special situations, such as during patient emergencies.
  • All of the refrigerators that store temperature-controlled items like vaccines will be equipped with an advanced temperature and humidity tracking system to ensure they are kept within a specified climate needed to remain viable.
  • A pneumatic tube system to transport smaller items in the hospital. This is similar to what you see at a bank drive-through and it will move objects conveniently and quickly, as fast as 15 MPH. The replacement St. Mary’s Medical Center will incorporate about 12,000 feet of pneumatic tubes, with the capability to connect to existing systems in other buildings and their downtown campus.
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There are also advancements in radio-frequency identification (RFID) tracking, operating room equipment, and more. You can track online the progress of this project and all it has to offer for patients and care teams.

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