New Communications Improves Patient Care

Contact: Amy Gilliam

Photo of Maggie Borders, nurse manager, Emergency/Trauma Services, UK Hospital and Chuck Pledger, Central channel sales manager, Vocera Communications
Maggie Borders, nurse manager, Emergency/Trauma Services, UK Hospital and Chuck Pledger, Central channel sales manager, Vocera Communications

""

By pressing a button on the badge and saying aloud an individual’s name, title or function, UK Emergency Department employees are instantly connected to the resources or staff members they need. By making it easier for health care personnel to immediately reach and respond to their colleagues, UK Hospital officials believe the system will improve communication for Hospital staff and enhance patient care.

""

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 28, 2004) -- To streamline the communications process and improve patient care and satisfaction, the University of Kentucky Hospital Emergency Department has installed the Vocera Communications® system. The system features a lightweight wearable badge that enables instant voice communications over a wireless network. UK Hospital is the first organization in Kentucky to implement Vocera.

Over 200 staff members across shifts in the UK Emergency Department are using the Vocera Communications badges.

By pressing a button on the badge and saying aloud an individual’s name, title or function, UK Emergency Department employees are instantly connected to the resources or staff members they need. By making it easier for health care personnel to immediately reach and respond to their colleagues, UK Hospital officials believe the system will improve communication for Hospital staff and enhance patient care.

“I am very excited that the staff is able to contact a doctor about a patient’s condition without having to leave the patient’s bedside,” said Maggie Borders, nurse manager, Emergency/Trauma Services, UK Hospital. “In the Emergency Department, there are times when help is needed immediately. This state-of-the-art system helps streamline emergency situations and allows nurses and physicians more time to care for our patients. The Vocera Communications system will significantly advance how we communicate and how we care for patients.”

While contacting a doctor by pager may take several minutes, with Vocera the staff member simply presses a button and says the name of the person with whom he or she wants to speak. The request is then processed by the system and the two parties are directly connected. Using the old paging system, physicians would often hold on a phone line for extended periods of time when Emergency Department staff members who paged them became occupied.

“The system will drastically improve our workflows and eliminate numerous inefficiencies,” Borders said. “Nurses are especially excited about the system because they no longer spend inordinate amounts of time tracking down staff and resources, allowing them to spend more time with patients.”

The Vocera Communications system was chosen because previous communications tools, such as overhead paging and physically seeking staff, proved inefficient, noisy and frustrating. The new system allows staff to be in contact with colleagues instantly and to attend to patients quicker. The lack of constant overhead paging has helped decrease noise levels and increase staff and customer satisfaction within the Emergency Department environment.

The Vocera Communications system is comprised of two key elements: the Vocera System software and the Vocera Communications badge.

The Vocera System software platform runs on a server located at the Hospital, and houses the centralized system intelligence, the speech recognition engine, and various databases. The system is centrally managed, so it may easily be upgraded with new features and improved functionality.

Weighing only two ounces, the Vocera Communications badge is a wearable, voice-controlled device that operates over a wireless system. It enables users within UK to talk to each other instantly and hands free. The system can also place, receive and forward calls through the public telephone network. Together the Vocera System software and badge allow staff to instantly communicate with each other and locate the resources they need.

“Enabling this technology allows us to take advantage of our existing infrastructure and provides more effective communication methods for our care givers,” said Jan Bates, technical services director, Medical Center Information Services, UK Hospital.
The system contains many special features such as a do not disturb mode, conference calling with three people at one time, and the ability to record voicemails for individual users or groups.

After piloting the Vocera Communications system in the Emergency Department, consideration will be given to expanding the system to other areas of the Hospital.

Vocera Communications was founded in March 2000 and is headquartered in Cupertino, Calif.


Back to Campus News Homepage