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          Nurse Call Systems: Connecting patients to nurses, and nurses to everyone else.
           

          Quickly Connect Caregivers and Patients

          US healthcare providers are facing a growing shortage of registered nurses. The same population trends that are driving increases in patient populations also impact medical staffing. An estimated 55% of nurses could retire between 2011 and 2020. Reduced budgets, the inability to fill open positions, and the increasing number of patient visits by chronically ill patients will require existing staff to work as efficiently as possible.

          By connecting patients to nurses—and nurses to everyone else—nurse call solutions leverage the latest technologies to enable efficient and effective communication among caregivers. Integrated nurse call solutions and unified communications alert clinicians of critical information and the need for intervention. Patients can reach nurses, and nurses can immediately collaborate with each other, physicians, and staff. Streamlined communications between patients and hospital staff lead to faster response times, higher quality of care, and greater patient satisfaction since patients know that help is on the way.

           

          Beyond the Button

          It wasn't that long ago that nurse call equipment was a bedside push button that would turn on a light at the nursing station. Today one press of a button on a wall-mounted or bedside control activates the wireless nurse call system. The patient alert is forwarded to a console at the nursing station as a primary notification. It is simultaneously forwarded to IP phones or pagers to alert mobile clinicians wherever they are on the floor so they can immediately attend to the patient.

          Nurse call systems feature two-way communication so the nurse can call back and speak to the patient to understand his or her need before going to the patient room or to the nursing station. The nurse can also use the system to send requests to other healthcare personnel after consulting with the patient and rapidly assemble a specialty team if needed.

          Help is on the Way

          Nurse call systems mean that older patients or those in long-term care facilities lead more independent lives while ensuring that members of the medical team are close at hand to help in an emergency. Some systems include active RFID pendants or patient wristbands with wireless nurse call functionality and real-time locating system (RTLS) capability. These systems identify the precise location of the patient and find the nearest qualified medical staff member to reduce response time.

          By integrating communications like wireless phones, pagers, and other end points, nurse call solutions ease collaboration among mobile caregivers, and the hospital staff is able to respond quickly and more effectively.

          Benefits on Many Levels

          Skills-based routing of requests can help offset the effect of staff shortages. Hospitals can set up their nurse call systems to categorize patient requests and direct them to the appropriate staff members. Each patient request and corresponding staff response can be recorded in a database for future reference. Access to up-to-date information enables hospital administration to stay better informed, leading to improved decision-making.

          Nurse call solutions can communicate alarm and event notifications, reducing overhead paging. The result is a quieter and calmer healthcare environment for patients.

          These systems may also integrate with unified communications (UC) solutions. With UC, healthcare facilities can take advantage of applications like context-aware mobility and presence services, paging, instant messaging, text-to-speech applications, voicemail, and more while using wireless endpoints.

          We’re Here to Support You

          The well-coordinated efforts of a patient care team are the foundation of quality care, and health IT tools can assist this potentially life-saving teamwork.

          PC Connection can help you integrate nurse call solutions for more efficient use of hospital resources,  improved quality of care, and increased patient satisfaction. A Network Assessment and a Voice and Video Readiness assessment are excellent ways to establish a baseline and learn where to focus your resources. Complete our Information Request Form or call 1-800-395-8685 to get started today!

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