<strong>How Nurse Call Systems Positively Impact Patient Care, Quality Initiatives, and Revenues</strong>

How Nurse Call Systems Positively Impact Patient Care, Quality Initiatives, and Revenues

February 20, 2017
Nurse Call System | Electronic Contracting Company

By Jan Aden


In today’s dynamic healthcare environment, the focus is squarely on the patient. Through the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, patients are asked to answer questions regarding their perception of the care they received from healthcare professionals during their hospital stay, their evaluation of the hospital environment and experience, and to provide an overall rating for the hospital. Not only are the results from these surveys publicly available to healthcare consumers, but reimbursement to hospitals from Medicare is in part based on each organization’s HCAHPS scores.

In this era of patient-focused healthcare and value-based reimbursement, healthcare organizations are seeking to streamline processes along with improving patient outcomes and satisfaction. An integral component in this endeavor is the state of the art nurse call system. Today’s nurse call systems utilize cutting edge technology to facilitate communication between patients and those directly responsible for their care, increase patient satisfaction, reduce noise and alarm fatigue in the healing environment, streamline healthcare workflow, and log critical data related to the delivery of care for use in analytic and quality assessment. 

Nurse call systems have moved light-years beyond the traditional patient call button and dome light. Pillow speakers have evolved into mini room control devices empowering patients with control over their immediate environment. These devices are equipped with buttons for controlling room lights, blinds, the television, and door closure. Buttons are also available for requesting pain medication, water, or toilet assistance. 

Patients have a direct line of communication to the nurses entrusted with their immediate care and health outcome via the use of wireless telephones, wearable voice-controlled badges, and smartphones. Alerts activated by patients, staff, or scheduled reminders are automatically routed to the appropriate caregiver’s wireless device display in prioritized messages indicating the patient room number, call type, or reminder. With a push of a button on their wireless device, the care provider can immediately engage in a conversation with the patient over the nurse call station or pillow speaker in the patient room. If the caregiver is unavailable, the push of an alternate button will escalate the call to a back-up caregiver. The direct delivery of the patient’s request to the right caregiver reduces steps and saves time. The patient is confident that his or her need will be met and the caregiver is able to respond rapidly and efficiently; thereby increasing satisfaction on the part of both. 

Advanced staff-patient call systems offer interfaces to the medical devices used in treating and monitoring patients. Medical device alerts are programmed with distinct priorities and messages. These specialized alerts are also transmitted directly to the assigned caregiver’s wireless device. The interface to these devices speeds up care delivery, reduces alarm fatigue, and promotes a quiet environment.

With the automation of reminders and tasks, today’s nurse communication systems assist in improving workflow. Customized buttons on the staff station in the patient room reinforce organizational healthcare initiatives. Rounding timers automatically notify caregivers when the next round is due. Reminder notifications for repositioning prevent hospital acquired wounds. Medication reminders facilitate pain management. Dedicated buttons expedite service requests for lab, transport, social services, or room cleaning.

When integrated with Real-Time Locating Systemsnurse call systems support automated staff presence in patient rooms by activation of colored sections on the dome light and cancellation of low priority nurse calls. The interface with RTLS can also be extended to automatically tracking the movement and location of expensive medical equipment. These automated functions document nurse presence with the patient for use in reporting programs and save time in locating staff and medical equipment.

Reporting software archives nurse call activity, call response time, transmission of nurse call and medical equipment alerts to wireless devices, wireless device responses, and RTLS information related to patient calls. This information is assimilated in reports to assist managers in making informed decisions regarding staffing needs, evaluating conformance with patient care initiatives, and identifying areas for improvement. 

In today’s challenging healthcare arena, state of the art nurse call systems positively impact patient and staff satisfaction, enhance communication, and streamline healthcare delivery. Improved utilization of hospital resources and increased workflow efficiencies boost revenue. 

Contemporary nurse call systems should be scalable, customizable, and provide a platform that can be built on for the future. Our dedicated healthcare-focused team has expertise in needs assessment, designing, and installing turnkey solutions for critical access to multi-campus healthcare facilities. If you would like assistance in maximizing the operation of your current nurse call system, or collaboration in designing a new system, give us a call at our nearest office.