In today’s healthcare landscape, a sophisticated and dynamic nurse call system is no longer a luxury, but rather a necessity. Seamless communication among nursing teams hinges on it, and so do patient health outcomes and satisfaction rates.
An outdated system could have far-reaching consequences, but recognizing the need for new technology can sometimes be tricky. These five key factors may indicate your current nurse call system is due for an upgrade.
It Doesn’t Sufficiently Integrate With Other Tools & Technologies
Telephone and pager systems have given way to advanced platforms that electronically send alerts straight to nurses. However, the effectiveness of these systems heavily depends on how they integrate with other healthcare technology.
Without this crucial link, you could find your organization grappling with fragmented, isolated communications, which limit access to essential information and potentially compromise patient care quality, safety and privacy.
Healthcare environments should upgrade to a system that:
- Delivers voice and text communications directly to a caregiver’s mobile communication device, without the requirement of third-party middleware.
- Smoothly routes alerts to the right caregivers, at the right time, and displays assignments through a configurable, easy-to-use interface.
- Offers seamless integrations that support inpatient telehealth capabilities for virtual visits, e-sitters and other innovations.
- Brings patient care plan data directly from the EMR/EHR to a central in-room screen for better engagement throughout length of stay.
- Uses a web-based application to provide real-time analytics and comparisons.
These features aren’t just enhancements — they are a lifeline enabling nurses to make the right calls at the right time.
It Lacks Automation
A nurse call system devoid of automation is like a car without GPS: It still moves, but it lacks efficiency and direction. Similarly, technology burdened with manual processes and outdated communication methods can lead to prolonged response times and reduced productivity.
Healthcare leaders should look for a solution that’s comparable to an automated air traffic control system in the medical landscape — one that adeptly navigates patient requests and directs them to appropriate caregivers and staff based on precise, real-time needs and data.
It Becomes Unreliable
When a nurse call system proves unreliable, it leads to frustrating system downtime and delays — which in turn jeopardizes patient safety. Moreover, every minute of network downtime costs hospitals an average of $9,000, according to Uptime’s 2022 Outage Analysis.
When emergencies strike or equipment breaks down, the ensuing chaos can leave care staff, IT, biomedical and engineering teams scrambling. A robust system should empower internal IT and engineering personnel to proactively pinpoint and address any arising issues, rather than merely reacting in the aftermath. Here’s what to seek out:
- A comprehensive, free-of-charge technical training package, complete with a certification program, which remains valid throughout the lifespan of the system.
- Round-the-clock technical assistance, accessible 24/7/365 through the manufacturer’s dedicated online solutions portal.
- A US-based technical support team, from authorized distributors, capable of efficiently resolving issues either over the phone or via remote desktop support.
It Slows Down Nurses
Think of a nurse call system as the heartbeat of a healthcare facility: When it’s slow or off-pace, the whole body suffers.
Nurses spend more than a quarter of their shift on administrative tasks like intake, discharge and scribing, and freeing up those tasks is paramount to greater care team efficiency and reduced burnout. The right system will streamline and automate the less hands-on to-dos, so nurses can spend more time at the bedside. The result? Happier caregivers and healthier patients.
It’s Not Equipped for the Future
Upgrading to a quality system that lasts for years — or better yet, decades – is always worth the investment. Most providers will send over haphazard end-of-life notices for software that leave your existing endpoints in the dust, so it’s important to find a solution that evolves with your healthcare environment.
Look for modular technology with clear upgrade paths, plus the right technical and clinical support to walk you through the process. Fewer replacements mean greater short-and long-term ROI that helps your system pay for itself sooner.
West-Com Nurse Call Systems Check All the Boxes
At West-Com, we never abandon technologies nor create unnecessary complexities to drive up costs. Instead, we ensure your nurse call system remains robust and relevant. Our systems also alleviate caregiver workloads for more person-centered care, which increases both staff retention and patient safety in diverse clinical settings. Plus, we provide free factory training and dedicated, responsive support for the life of the system.
Explore our solutions and discover how we can help provide a reliable, timely and efficient experience for caregivers, providers and, above all, patients.