By Anthony Torres, MD, FACP, President and CEO, Dignity Health Yavapai Regional Medical Center  

Technology is everywhere. Most of us depend on our computers, tablets, smartphones, and other electronic devices more than ever before, and there’s a good reason: used responsibly, technology makes our lives easier in countless ways.

The same can be said for the ever-expanding technological advances in the healthcare industry. Yet at Dignity Health Yavapai Regional Medical Center, the rule by which we measure whether to adopt a new technology is simple: Will it help us to provide the best possible care for our patients? In fact, this question is the driving force in all that we do.

Robotic-assisted surgery 

Robotic-assisted surgery is one of our newest advances at Yavapai Regional, and already we’ve had gratifying outcomes in our initial procedures. Patients who receive robotic-assisted surgery typically experience less pain, shorter recovery times, shorter hospital stays, less post-operative pain medications, and a lower risk of infection.

The robotic system is led by the surgeon, whose hand movements are translated into precise micro-movements of the surgical instruments. The movements replicate the human hand but with a greater range of motion. Complex procedures, which in the past could only be accomplished through more invasive approaches and larger openings, now can be performed through tiny incisions.

Yavapai Regional’s state-of-the-art Da Vinci xi robot assists in orthopedic, urologic, gynecologic, and general surgery procedures.

Minimally invasive neurosurgery

Another stellar example of leading-edge technology that brings better care to our patients is a new system that allows for minimally invasive intracranial surgery and neurosurgery of the spine.

In the hands of our exceptionally skilled neurosurgical team, this system is made up of a high-tech surgical imaging station and a virtual navigation system. Three-dimensional, superior-quality, real-time images of the skull or spine integrate with a system that operates much like a GPS, allowing the surgical team to navigate difficult-to-visualize anatomy while repairing the patient’s spine or skull.

This means less time in surgery, fewer and smaller incisions, more precise placement of implants, fewer complications, less pain, and shorter recovery times.

Of course, technology such as robotic-assisted surgery and minimally invasive neurosurgery aren’t options for everyone. Because every person is different, the team at Yavapai Regional works closely with each patient to determine the best procedure for their specific condition and overall health.

ERAdvisor and CareAdvisor

AI technology is another leading-edge innovation that supports Yavapai Regional’s number one priority: making your experience the best it can be. Patients are given the choice to use ERAdvisor in the emergency department and CareAdvisor during a hospital stay. No sign-up or app download is needed, and it works on any smartphone.

This powerful technology brings real-time updates on your wait time, progress, lab results, appointments, and much more, directly to your smartphone. You can also communicate with your care team, share information with your family, make requests, and have questions answered. This immediate and enhanced transparency between patients and staff allows for less anxiety and frustration, which helps to make a potentially stressful time a bit easier.

Virtually Integrated Care (VIC)

Imagine accessing a nurse via a tap of the screen in your patient room.

With VIC, the patient experience is dramatically enhanced. Unique to the Dignity Health/CommonSpirit system, VIC connects a remote, professional registered nurse to each patient and their bedside Care Team via high-def camera, video screen, and two-way audio.

It’s like having more nurses on duty at any given time. With VIC, bedside nurses are assisted with a broad range of important tasks: charting, discharges, patient education and dialogue, to name just a few. Patients receive a more personalized experience, and hospital efficiency is significantly improved.

James Family Heart Center

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the incredible technology at the James Family Heart Center and its state-of-the-art surgical facilities, including a hybrid operating suite and three Cardiovascular Cath Labs, where specialists combine advanced diagnostic imaging and exceptional surgical services.

The center’s Structural Heart Program boasts leading-edge procedures including Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), Left Atrial Appendage Closure (WATCHMAN), Mitral Valve Repair with MitraClip, and Paravalvular Leak Closure (PFL). These pioneering procedures – in the hands of top cardiologists, heart surgeons, interventional cardiologists, interventional radiologists, and other specialists trained at nationally recognized programs – bring world-class heart care to the Quad City area.

Patient care is always first

It’s an exciting time to be in the healthcare field. Technology continues to bring exciting new innovations that we could have only dreamed of even a few years ago. But one thing stays constant: Dignity Health Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s commitment to the best possible care for you – our friends and neighbors – will always be our number one priority.