As the AIDS epidemic swept the nation, Cold War tension with the Soviet Union escalated, and Americans were introduced to personal computing, the decade kicked off in Portage, Wisconsin, with a major expansion and renovation project that gave Divine Savior a dramatically new look. Computer technology started to take hold with the introduction of several revolutionary pieces of equipment, and helicopter transit – and the access to improved care that comes with it – lifted off with Med Flight.

Space-Age Technology Taking Over

It was a bad year for typewriters. Month by month, department by department, the hospital's IBM Selectrics had to make way for new computer terminals. From Medical Records to Nursing, from the administrative offices to the business office, the glowing screens were reminders of how fast health care is changing.

In a changing environment, Divine Savior responded by updating not only its office equipment, but some of its ways of doing business, as well. In a year of increasing competition between hospitals, our hospital began advertising its advantages to consumers. As alternative health insurance plans proliferated, Divine Savior joined an HMO. As hospitals nationwide counted more empty beds, we expanded services to outpatients. And as technology advanced, we kept up.

Space-age technology came to the hospital's intensive care unit in the form of new heart monitors made by a supplier of monitoring equipment for the Gemini, Apollo and early Space Shuttle missions. The system's microcomputers allow nurses to measure a patient's abnormal heart rhythms and recall rhythms recorded hours or even days earlier for comparison.


"In the future, more things will be done on an out-patient basis. Things like one-day surgery, for instance, are changing the nature of hospitals."

– Executive director Kenneth Van Bree




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