Today, nurse call systems have evolved to provide more than basic communication between your patients and staffs. They come with diverse features and benefits, making it even harder to choose the most appropriate system for your facility.
And, with alarm desensitization becoming a growing problem, you are under more pressure to choose a system that improves both staff and patient experiences. This article guides you on what you should consider when choosing a nurse call system.
The best nurse call system is one that meets your needs and goals. The needs of your facility will depend on factors like patient demographics, facility size, locations, and departmental needs.
Take time to speak with the teams affected by the new nurse call systems as they are in a better position to inform you about their unique needs and challenges. Different teams will have different priorities and needs; for example, nurses might want a system that lets them know the patients’ problems while the IT department will prioritize the system’s technological features.
Establish the goals you have for the new systems, including the capabilities you require, key features, data collection and analytics, and current challenges. Some of the capabilities nursing call systems offer include:
The next step is to determine your budget; while nurse call systems are a long-term investment, you want to find a system that delivers the capabilities your facility prioritizes affordably. Remember to never compromise on maintenance and support when budgeting for a nurse call system.
Compare the price over the expected return on investment and seek ways you can reduce the cost, for instance, by opting out of unnecessary add-ons and features.
Once you identify your needs and budget, set goals and objectives that the new nurse call system needs to address. Identify the areas your facility needs to improve on, set attainable and measurable goals, and develop a strategy for tracking and monitoring the return on investment from the nurse call system.
Some of the goals you can set include:
Unless you are a new facility, you need to take inventory of the existing technology and workflows so that the new nurse call system can fit seamlessly and integrate with the existing technologies.
You want to choose a system that fits with what you already have to limit disruptions while improving performance. Note the lacking or outdated resources or that require upgrading during the inventory process so you can fill these gaps before bringing in a new nurse call system. Some of the existing technologies you to include in your inventory would be:
After taking stock of your facility’s IT infrastructure, work with your IT department to determine the requirements of these technologies and whether the nurse call systems you have in mind can integrate seamlessly with the existing infrastructure.
You should choose a system that integrates easily with your existing technologies, is easy to maintain, and eliminates unnecessary workflows. Interoperability between a nurse call system and your existing infrastructure allows for safe practices, creates opportunities for improvement, and offers a high ROI.
Choose systems that are flexible and adaptable to changing patient and staff needs and can accommodate technological improvements.
Now that you know your goals, needs, and capabilities you require for a nurse call system, it’s time to review the options available in the market. You should look at case studies, customer reviews, peer recommendations, tradeshows, and healthcare technology events to determine the call system that could be the most beneficial for your facility.
You can choose from a variety of nurse call systems, including:
Basic nurse call systems provide a button, which sends an alert to the nurse station when pressed. Nurses can only turn off these systems at the patient’s bedside.
Wireless nurse call systems are great for facilities that want an easy upgrade without the extensive labor costs and interruptions arising from the installation of wired systems. These systems are flexible and can be adapted to fit different patients’ needs, for example, by moving the system to the ward where a patient requires it.
Aidbell wireless nurse call systems support up to 400 nurse call buttons. Additional features of the nurse call system include:
Wired nurse call systems support two-way intercom between patients and nurses for direct communication. But they require in-wall cables to connect the call system meaning the installation process is more labor-intensive. These systems are great for new constructions or facilities under refurbishment.
They are considerably easier to maintain than wireless systems and can support a two-way intercom between patients and nurses. However, they come at a higher cost and cause patient disruptions during their installation.
Once you evaluate your options and choose the nurse call system that works best for your needs, you need to meet with the vendor to complete the purchase and plan to implement and integrate the call system into your facility.
The best implementation plan has a strategy, a timeline, and a system of identifying problems and resolving them quickly. Work with a technology partner during this stage to facilitate a smooth implementation, integration, and continuous support throughout the process.
Smooth implementation of a system should take into consideration the interruptions that could occur to staff and patients and find the best ways to reduce or avoid them.
You need to train and support your staff once you have the call system if you hope to derive benefits from implementing the new system. Without training and support, your staff is likely to resist the idea of using the new call system, which makes it harder to achieve the goals you envisioned when implementing it.
Talk to your vendor about additional support to staff as they implement the new call system and incorporate it into their daily activities.
Reviewing the impact of the nurse call system you adopt should be an on-going process from the time you implement and integrate the system. The best call system delivers improved customer satisfaction and improves your facility’s ROI.
Therefore, you have to review the goals you set purchasing a call system and compare the key performance indicators you had against your system’s current performance to determine whether it solves the problems and needs your facility and patients have.
Choosing the right nurse call system lets your facility deliver better care to your patients and meet their needs. While this decision is usually daunting for most people, the tips above will guide you through the process to ensure you purchase the system that meets the needs of your staff, patients and increases your ROI.
Contact us today for a free consultation on your best options for a nurse call system that will meet the specific needs of your enterprise.