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Three mountain bike riders with six vital signs monitors

Gordon St Cycles’ team members Dave Anderson, Roz Anderson and Ed Godschalk with the six vital signs monitors donated by Tour de Rocks to the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute at Port Macquarie. With them are delighted Nurse Unit Manager Emily Saul and RN Kris Jurd. (Absent: Gordon Street Cycles’ team members Paul Bann-Murray and Justeen Single.)

Tour de Rocks’ vital signs for Mid North Coast Cancer Institute

Nov 12, 2020

A world-first cancer care initiative at Mid North Coast Cancer Institute (MNCCI) has made it over the finish line thanks to the classic charity ride, Tour de Rocks.

The charity dedicated to cancer care and research has donated six vital signs monitors to the Port Macquarie campus. The $30,000 gift was the result of an MNCCI appeal to the community in July last year for a dozen of the state-of-the-art monitors that could be integrated into a central database to record patient observations, such as blood pressure, pulse and respiration rates.

It is the first time in the world wireless technology, vital signs monitors and an oncology-specific electronic medical records system have been used to improve patient care. The system was developed by the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute and is now being rolled out at other cancer centres.

Tour de Rocks’ donation equates to half the vital signs monitors needed to complete the project, with Hastings Cancer Trust (2), No One Fights Alone, Kempsey’s Lilli Pilli Ladies and Lake Cathie resident Patricia Woodhead donating five. Tour de Rocks donated one other monitor in August last year before committing to the final six.

MNCCI Nurse Unit Manager Emily Saul said the cancer team would be forever grateful to the donors, in particular Tour de Rocks, for transforming an ambitious vision into reality.

“The development of this project was the first challenge; the next was finding community-minded individuals and organisations to partner with us in an initiative that has such an impact on the optimal delivery of patient care,” Ms Saul said.

“To be at this stage, where we have all 12 monitors, is testament to the awesome community that supports our patients.

“Tour de Rocks’ contribution is amazing. We quite simply may not have been able to deliver this project for all of our patients had they not come on board.”

The new monitors use wireless technology to transmit vital signs data to a central data base, eliminating the need for nurses to manually write down patient observations and then transcribe those observations into a records system. The system enables real time clinical decisions to be based on accurate and immediate patient observations, and it means nurses have more time to spend with their patients.

Among the 491 participants in last year’s Tour de Rocks ride, from Armidale to South West Rocks via the Macleay River, was a team from Gordon Street Cycles.

Team members Ed Godschalk and Roz Anderson said being present for the commissioning of the final six monitors was a proud moment.

“Three days of tough riding on mountain bikes is nothing compared to the suffering that cancer can bring to so many lives. We’re happy to be able to contribute in this way,” Mr Godschalk said.

“I also want to thank the sponsors, as their donations make

fundraising possible, so they’re part of our team as well.”

“Hopefully we can inspire more Port Macquarie cyclists to participate

and raise funds through this challenging and worthwhile event,” Ms Anderson said.

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