Cedar Rapids – Southeast Iowa

UnityPoint tech lab, with its own 3D printer, spurs staff innovation, engagement

CEDAR RAPIDS — St. Luke’s Nursing Supervisor Celsey Huber was looking for a solution this past week.

She had noticed a problem while working with patients who needed continuous bladder irrigation, meant to prevent blood clots from forming. She wanted to create a system that would warn her and other nurses when it was time to change the drainage bag, which would often fill up quickly during the irrigation process.

So Huber and an engineer created and built a sensor that would sound an alarm when the liquid reached a certain level in the bag. They tested the prototype earlier this week in a new space within UnityPoint Health-Cedar Rapids that’s meant to encourage this type of action — particularly for those such as Huber who typically don’t get to use their entrepreneurial tendencies.

“There’s no way I would do this on my own,” Huber told a St. Luke’s physician on Wednesday.

And according to Rose Hedges, with St. Luke’s Nursing Research, the new space could be a key recruitment and retention tool for the Cedar Rapids-based hospital system.

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