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Inspiring Health WINTER 2012

Freedom of Movement: Cordless fetal monitoring helps moms have easier births

Always Open:

Get lab work performed when it’s convenient for you

Nothing to Ignore: Two important conditions to visit with your physician about

OR and Anesthesia staff Sue and Steve

Welcome Dr. Andrew Ellsworth! Brookings Health System proudly welcomes Dr. Andrew Ellsworth, MD, of Avera Medical Group-Brookings. Dr. Ellsworth specializes in family medicine and serves the needs of area patients of all ages. Dr. Ellsworth received his doctorate from the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion and completed his residency in family medicine at Family Medicine Residency of Idaho, Boise. He is also a member of

the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is available to provide care in all areas of family medicine, including obstetrics, pediatrics, and preventive care. As a local physician, Dr. Ellsworth offers patients the opportunity to have their medical needs attended to close to home, near family and friends.

To schedule your appointment with Dr. Ellsworth, contact Avera Medical GroupBrookings at (605) 697-9500 or (800) 658-5405.



Some tips to prevent falling include: • Remove tripping hazards from indoor and outdoor spaces, including icy patches.



• Secure indoor and outdoor electrical cords, scatter rugs and welcome mats.

Winter weather is known for icy and slippery conditions outside. However, slips, trips and falls can happen just as easily inside the home as outside the home.

• Check for slippery substances on walkways and stairs. Clean up grease, water and other spilled liquids immediately and do not over wax floors. • Make sure both indoor and outdoor walkways are well lit and clutter free. • Install handrails in stairways. • Walk carefully and deliberately, change positions slowly, and don’t rush or hurry. • For seniors, stay fit and flexible. Maintain your physical strength to improve your balance and to prevent falling.

We Want to Hear From You! Did you have an outstanding experience with Brookings Health System? Don’t just keep it to yourself! By liking us on Facebook® or following us on Twitter®, not only can you learn about upcoming health system events and technology advances, but you can also leave your feedback and learn about the experiences of others. Find us on Facebook at or on Twitter at

The Right Moves Studies show walking helps the uterus work more efficiently and changing positions frequently moves the pelvis bones to help the baby find the best fit through the birth canal.

Evidence-based research shows freedom of movement throughout labor makes birth easier. Now a new cordless fetal monitoring system at Brookings Health System helps moms move freely while providing medical staff a constant status of mom and baby.

The new Philips Avalon Cordless Fetal Transducer System

at New Beginnings Birth Center measures fetal heart rate, uterine activity and mom’s heart rate while in labor. Because the system is cordless, mothers may move and switch positions as they choose. With older corded monitors, mothers are only allowed to be off the units for a half an hour at a time if everything is okay with mom and baby.

“With both of my other babies, I was basically stuck in the bed the whole time,” said Cynthia Murphy of Brookings, a mom of three children who had previously used corded fetal monitoring systems, one in a large Missouri hospital and another in Denver. “I was going through labor and couldn’t get up and move around. I felt like it prolonged my labor because I was uncomfortable and under stress.” Brookings Health System’s new cordless fetal monitoring system provided Cynthia a different experience for her third baby. “With Connor, I got up and walked around. I could interact a little better with my family. My labor did go extremely faster. I could allow my body to get comfortable,” said Cynthia. “Even with my second child, you would think labor would have gone faster, but my labor lasted just as long. Moving around and being comfortable cut the time less than half.” Studies show walking helps the uterus work more efficiently and changing positions frequently moves the pelvis bones to help the baby find the best fit through the birth canal. Women are more comfortable and have a better sense of control to have the birth experience they want, another advantage Cynthia experienced at Brookings Health System. “I talked to a few moms in town who had their baby in Sioux Falls, and I couldn’t figure out why they would do that, especially now after I know Brookings Health System has such attentive care. Hospitals always say they will do whatever you want as a mom to make you most comfortable during delivery, but this hospital actually does it. Whatever means I wanted to try—walking, whirlpool, birthing ball— they were willing to let me do that.” Want to learn more about delivering your baby at New Beginnings Birth Center? Visit www. or call (605) 696-9000 for a free tour.

winter 2012

Journey to

EXCELLENCE A collaborative effort between the medical surgical and emergency departments at Brookings Health System is improving patient care quality.

Spring 2012, a new patient

satisfaction team was established to ensure staff consistently provides the highest level of service to patients: the Journey to Excellence team.


“The initial goal was to build camaraderie between the Medical Surgical and Emergency Departments,” said Medical Surgical and ED Director Karen Weber. “As our team started looking for ways to improve care, we began including ancillary departments, such as physical therapy, pharmacy, housekeeping, dietary, and reception, to give us a unified approach.” The team is also responsible for developing new service improvement ideas and for sharing best practices between departments.




Brookings Health System’s laboratory is always open, making it convenient for people to have lab work performed around their busy schedule no matter where they see their physician.

For patients who need lab work,

Brookings Health System’s laboratory is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year—even holidays.

Pictured in the front row from left to right is Rosemary, Staci, Karen, Deb, Heather. Back row: Cheryl, Kristine, Ann, Ryan and Karen. Their first project: improve communication to patients about their care during their stay at Brookings Health System. The team developed and implemented a patient white board for each room that communicates to patients and staff key information regarding patients’ care. Their second project is managing patients’ pain. They are establishing consistent communication to patients about what pain to expect during procedures, providing information sheets on admission on how to manage pain, and using the universal pain scale. “We can also make Brookings Health System a great place to work,” says Weber. “We work on ways to improve work processes, communication and camaraderie across departments, resulting in improved patient care.” Interested in learning more about Brookings Health System’s hospital? Visit

“As long as they have a doctor’s order for lab work, patients can walk-in at any time,” said Laboratory Director Debra Thomas. “They simply register with and present their doctor’s order to the Emergency Department receptionist, who then notifies laboratory staff.” Lab staff collects the necessary samples, conducts testing, and sends results back to the patient’s ordering physician. “Having our lab open 24-7 makes it convenient for patients who can’t miss work,” said Thomas. “We also save a long commute for patients who may receive orders from a physician in Sioux Falls, Rochester, or wherever else.”

Lab services include: Blood-banking: makes blood

available for patients in need. The lab also hosts five blood drives per year.

Coagulation: tests how blood clots and finds if it’s too thin or thick.

Clinical Chemistry: checks

cholesterol, glucose, thyroid, liver and kidney functions.

Serology: finds viral illnesses. Hematology: detects certain bacterial/blood infections.

Urinalysis: finds bladder infections. Microbiology: detects certain bacterial infections.

Parasitology: finds parasites. Therapeutic phlebotomies: releases blood for patients with chronic problems.

If you need lab testing completed, bring your doctor’s order to Brookings Health System’s laboratory at any time.

Nothing to

IGNORE Anorectal abscess and anal fistula are conditions people do not always talk much about, but should— especially with their physician.

“100,000 people in the U.S. each year are seen

for an anorectal abscess,” said Dr. Theresa Oey-Devine, M.D., general surgeon at Avera Medical Group-Brookings. “There are many more undiagnosed cases because many people do not see their physician due to the embarrassing nature of the condition.”

An anorectal abscess is a collection of pus in the anal and rectal regions. It is commonly caused by a blocked anal gland. They may also be related to Crohn’s disease. “Symptoms include severe pain in the area which doesn’t change when the patient has a bowel movement,” said Oey-Devine. “Patients may also experience fevers, fatigue, and sometimes pus discharge.” To heal, a physician cuts open and drains the abscess. Physicians may treat simple abscesses in a clinic or the ER. Complex abscesses require outpatient surgery. After treatment, patients need to take sitz baths, soaking the affected area in warm water. This relieves pain, reduces swelling, and makes the abscess drain easier. Physicians may also prescribe stool softeners and pain medication. The area typically heals in one month. Pain, itching and chronic discharge of pus, stool or gas after the procedure may signal an anal fistula has developed. An anal fistula is an opening between the anal canal or rectum and the skin. It typically develops six to 12 weeks after the initial procedure, but may not develop until months or years later. “Fistula develops in half of anorectal abscess cases,” said Oey-Devine. “Doctors have no way of predicting when they will and will not occur.”

Surgery is required to cure an anal fistula. It is typically performed on an outpatient basis, but may require a short hospital stay. Fistula surgery involves cutting open the skin and muscle over the tunnel, converting it into an open groove. This allows the fistula to heal from the inside out. Complex cases may require placing a special drain, called

“There are many more undiagnosed cases because many people do not see their physician due to the embarrassing nature of the condition.” —Dr. Theresa Oey-Devine

a seton, inside the fistula for at least six weeks, after which surgery is completed. Surgery and treatment type depends on where the fistula lies and which parts of the anal sphincter muscle it crosses. A surgeon determines which treatment method is best for each patient. Treatment after fistula surgery includes sitz baths, taking stool softeners or laxatives, and pain medication. With prompt treatment, patients with anorectal abscesses or anal fistulae often do very well and recover quickly. Anorectal abscesses and fistulae do not go away on their own. If you suspect you have either condition, please see your physician and discuss options for treatment at Brookings Health System.

winter 2012



CONSTRUCTION TIMELINE APRIL: Earthwork begins, removing excess

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE The vision for Brookings Health System’s New Skilled Nursing Facility is beginning to take shape. At over 55% complete, the facility is on track to open Summer 2013.


A lot has happened since Brookings

Health System broke ground for the new skilled nursing facility last spring. This summer and fall, foundations were poured, walls went up, and roofs were shingled. Siding, trim and other exterior work is finished until spring.

As our weather turns to wintry conditions, crews continue to work inside the facility, painting, finishing and trimming interiors. Flooring, cabinets and other furnishing will also be installed. Come spring, crews will start working outside again, finishing site grading, landscaping, and concrete for parking lots. Once completed, residents will enjoy a new homelike, neighborhood environment. Want to learn more about the new skilled nursing facility? Visit SkilledNursingFacility, or scan the QR code with your smart phone.

topsoil and clay. Site utilities are brought in from underground.

MAY: Excavating and concrete pouring for

footings and foundations begins. Installation of underground plumbing and electrical utilities continues.

JUNE: Framing and floor pouring starts on the

site’s east side. Under-slab rough-ins for plumbing and electrical work start. Final foundations are excavated and poured on the west side.

JULY: Framing continues as well as floor

and footing concrete pouring. Plumbers and electricians continue underground work and start interior plumbing. Shingling starts and fire sprinkler piping is installed.

AUGUST: All foundations, floors and under-slab

rough-ins are complete. Shingling and exterior framing continues and interior framing begins. Windows start going in, sheet rocking and insulation begins, and retaining walls are installed.

SEPTEMBER: Shingling, exterior framing and

interior framing continue as well as sheet rocking and insulation. Mechanical, HVAC, electrical and steel stud framing crews begin working on interior. Siding starts going up on east side buildings and steel beams are fire proofed.

OCTOBER: All foundations, floors and under-

slab rough ins are complete. Shingling and exterior framing continues and interior framing begins. Windows start going in, sheet rocking and insulation begins, and retaining walls are installed. Siding starts going up on east side buildings.

NOVEMBER: Preparation for winter continues. Concrete, storm sewer and black dirt work is finished. Windows and aluminum doors are installed. Exterior framing is completed and interior framing, sheet rocking, and painting continue.

Make this

House a

Brookings Health System is currently building the New Skilled Nursing Facility. This

$15 million facility was designed and built from the ground up as a state-of-theart household model facility. This project together with the evolution to residentcentered culture elevates Brookings elder care from good to great. The residents and staff currently living and working at Brookview Manor anxiously await moving into their new house summer 2013. But first, we need your help to Make this House a Home. Donations to the Foundation will help fill this beautiful new house with love and life including pianos, raised garden beds, new mattresses and chairs for each resident room, wheelchair rockers, wheelchair swings for the courtyards, game tables, cameras, a bus and bus garage. These additions will help the residents feel at home and provide a warm welcome to family and community visitors. Our goal is to raise $600,000 by June 1, 2013. Please join us and Make this House a Home! Give online at, mail donation to 300 Twenty-Second Avenue in Brookings, or watch for a pledge card coming to your home soon.

Foundation donations are making a difference... The third annual Aiming to Inspire Health fundraiser,

held Aug. 23 raised over $17,000 in net proceeds, all of which will go to fund needed equipment for the New Skilled Nursing Facility’s therapy gym.

Friends of John Gustafson

donated $5,000 to Brookings Health System Foundation to purchase a blanket warmer for kidney dialysis patients.

Brookings Health System employees gave over $11,000

to launch the Employee Fitness Center, resulting in a new treadmill and elliptical available to Brookings Health System cardiac rehab patients.

Thank You winter 2012


NON PROFIT ORG. US Postage Paid Permit No. 9 BROOKINGS SD 300 Twenty-Second Avenue Brookings, SD 57006

This is a recyclable product.

Inspiring Health is published by Brookings Health System. This publication in no way seeks to serve as substitute for professional medical care. Consult your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.

A Sharper Image Recently Brookings Health System purchased ultrasound and portable x-ray equipment. Digital with high-resolution, both systems add image detail, helping care providers better diagnose and treat patients. With the new, fully digital portable x-ray system that will be operational by the end of 2012, radiology technologists will be able to take pictures that instantly appear on a screen, helping health care providers quickly diagnose and treat patients. Previous technology required radiology technologists process the image in the radiology department after capture. Fully digital x-rays also reduce the required radiation dose to take images. The newly acquired ultrasound system matches the image quality of the ultrasound system added last year. Both systems reduce operational input required by ultrasonographers, meaning patient procedures take less time. The newest ultrasound system is also smaller and more agile, allowing it to be portable. Portable systems allow the equipment to come to the patient rather than the patient coming to the equipment. This adds convenience for a patient in the emergency department or hospital who has limited movement. What’s more, Brookings Health System stores all captured imagery on a picture archiving and communication system (PACS). This system allows Brookings Health System to easily share images with other health care providers, including high-resolution, digital images from the new x-ray and ultrasound systems. Want to learn more about x-ray, ultrasound and other imaging procedures at Brookings Health System? Visit

Inspiring Health Winter 2012  
Inspiring Health Winter 2012