Springs Memorial Hospital Implements Newest Technology for Improved Clinical Communication
Springs Memorial Hospital, as part of it’s on going commitment to a better patient experience, implemented the Vocera Communication System on September 20, 2010. The person to person communication system improves communication and processes for care providers allowing them to spend more time at the patient’s side.
“At Springs Memorial Hospital, our goal is simple,” said Chrys Steele, Director of Information Systems. “We want to provide the best patient care possible. We are taking care of our family, friends, our community…and every second counts. We continuously strive to improve our systems and processes, because the end result is better healthcare.”
Steele states that when the Vocera System was first evaluated, that it was immediately evident that the system would have a positive impact on streamlining communication between caregivers. This in turn results in better outcomes, which have been witnessed in the few short weeks it has been used.
The Vocera Communications System is a hands-free, voice-driven communication platform that runs over the hospital’s wireless network. This solution consists of two key components: the Vocera software that controls and manages call activity, and the Vocera communications badge, which is a lightweight, wearable, voice-controlled communication device allowing hands-free conversation throughout the facility. To provide even more ways to reach important resources, the hospital integrated the Vocera system with its existing PBX. This integration allows the clinical staff to instantly connect with community resources resulting in a better coordination of care.
Weighing less than two ounces, the Vocera badge can be clipped to clothing or worn on a lanyard. It is a voice-driven device based on IP telephony. Within range of the wireless network, hospital staff can communicate with each other by simply speaking the name of the person they are seeking into the Vocera badge. This action triggers a call to that person’s badge, deskphone, or back-up resource. Vocera allows users to call one another by name, function, group, telephone number, or extension. Calling by name eliminates the need to remember phone numbers, while group calling allows staff to reach the relevant person in a particular department without having to refer to duty rosters or on-call charts. Calling by function involves linking a staff member to a particular role (e.g., Charge Nurse) so that a request for the role will be put through to the individual filling it at that point in time. Access to all staff logged onto the system eliminates the need to ‘page and wait,’ reducing the time it takes to assist patients.
Wireless voice communication of this type enables medical staff to contact each other wherever and whenever they need to. This is particularly important in emergency situations or when information must be obtained quickly. Our nurses no longer have to return to the nurses station and look up the physician’s pager or office number before making the call. They just issue the command from where they are. When information about a patient needs to be communicated from the physician or other caregiver, they can be instantly connected to the nurse assigned to that patient. No waiting allows treatments to be changed as quickly as needed, improving patient outcomes and patient safety.
Vocera is deployed in more than 600 hospitals worldwide. Springs Memorial is the first in this region to implement the technology. The system has been deployed on the Inpatient Units and the hospital is currently working on the second phase to deploy badges to our ancillary and service departments. Future plans include integration with the nurse call system.
For more information, please call Ashley Shannon at 803-313-3112.