Medical Construction & Design

JUL-AUG 2017

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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MCDM AG.COM | J U LY/AUGUST 2017 | Medical Construction & Design 45 system updates include connecting the pillow speakers with the facility- wide public address system, which can temporarily mute pillow speakers during announcements so all facility occupants can hear the announcements. Other IP-converged hospital systems like fi re and life safety can interface with newer nurse call solutions as well. For example, fi re life and safety mass notifi cations can turn off audio from pillow speakers and broadcast emergency communications directly to patients through their pillow speakers. These same emergency functions are also being interfaced with bedside patient tablets and PC monitors Expanding system monitoring beyond the bedside Several manufacturers have expanded their system monitoring features to include cameras not only for high-risk, but all kinds of patients. Nurse call systems have expanded coverage well beyond the bedside to also include hospital commons and procedural areas. The hands-free, two- way voice feature has been expanded to include hospital staff 's "wearable" communications devices and IP- converged VoIP telephone. VoIP will be expanded to include controlled cellular interface in the very near future. Many patient alerts are sent directly to the caregiver's handset to maintain a continuous status on patient needs. Patient locator functionality was released as a feature a few years ago and gained approval and deployment by many hospital organizations for its ability to interface with chips incorporated into patient wrist and ankle identifi cation bands. This interface requires an IP connection at the two system's head-end equipment. Once hardwired devices are defi ned, the solution designer can focus on interfaces with electronic medical records, patient and staff locator, patient care instructions, bulletins, requirements, precautions and likes/ dislikes that improve the patient experience. One feature that can be controlled by either the nurses' station or the patient's bedside is the ability to post information such as visiting restrictions and other messages. The hospital or medical center information desk can provide visitors with informative communications like "visitor should wait in the lobby," a simple note like "taking a nap" or a personalized message for a certain individual to come up to the patient's room. The interfaces to bed status and alert, infusion pump status and telemetry monitoring, are just a few of the interfaces that will allow the care team to provide the best patient care possible. This isn't the end of nurse call options for users and administrators. Recently, restrictions for wireless nurse call devices in skilled nursing and acute care facilities have been relaxed, with much anticipated success. In the coming years, the nurse call industry expects state restrictions on such devices for hospitals and medical centers to be decreased further, allowing the devices to be implemented throughout the United States. The true power of today's nurse call systems lies in the design. The way these systems interface with other patient care systems, within the hospital and medical center, provides a complete patient care system that allows the care team to provide the best care possible, and leaves many of the controls in the hands of the patient for an improved patient experience. John Kacperski, RCDD, OSP, is senior technology consultant at P2S Engineering, Inc. He is chair of the BICSI International Standards Committee. Stock: Monkey Business Images/Dreamstime; Lobby, Room: Paul Turang From left: A nurse call system's wide range of new applications can ease burdens for caregivers in acute care settings. > Nurse call systems can interface with monitors, speakers and most other electronic equipment found in patient rooms.

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