Nurse call systems are used to notify the appropriate caregiver of patient care requests quickly and efficiently as well as provide a backup mechanism to assure the patients’ needs are being addressed.
In this article, we cover how nurse call systems have evolved from a system once considered to be a “disruptive technology” to a system that constantly makes hospital workflow stronger. When nurse call systems were first implemented in hospitals, a patient pushed the call button (or pulled the call cord), and a sound emitted from the room. A nurse call light above the patient room and at the nurse station would light up to alert the nurse station something was wrong. This alert could indicate the patient needed help with anything – ranging from a simple food request to needing serious assistance. The linear system lacked logic.
Nurse call systems have evolved tremendously. Today’s nurse call system design is configured around the needs of each individual hospital, and how they manage and care for their patients. The nurse call system is no longer a simple system alerting the central nurse station of a patient issue, but rather enables the hospital to act quickly and proactively.
For instance, Koorsen customers utilize the nurse call system to improve their patient care model. When a team of physicians is alerted of a patient request, one member can respond and the rest can be simultaneously notified of the team member answering the patient request. This creates a fluid relationship between the patient’s location and the nurse assigned to that patient.
The patient requests can even be customized to the hospital – instead of just having one alert, Koorsen technology provides the capability for customers to have certain “call types” routed to different types of roles on the care team. These call requests may include ice chips, bathroom requests, pain medication, etc. Today’s nurse call systems even provide the ability to “escalate” the request to a charge nurse or backup nurse if the patient request is not answered and cleared within a predefined time.
Nurse call systems enhance workflow in more ways than just proactive patient care:
- Room turnover/housekeeping: When a patient is discharged from a room, the unit secretary pushes a request for housekeeping.
- Dietary: In a room service dietary model, the patient pushes the call light for dietary when they are ready to eat, and a dietary technician receives patient meal requests.
- Patient Arrival: A patient is admitted from the ER and upon arrival, assigned a room/bed. The ER nurse pushes the call light button, the alert nurse assigned to that room knows the patient has arrived and is in the assigned room/bed.
- Patient Location: Allows the capability to alert the nurse if a patient tries to get out of bed, leave their room, leave the unit, etc.
- Other urgent events, such as code blue or other critical events.
Healthcare facilities that incorporate nurse call systems into their workflow and practice see an overall positive impact in many aspects of their practice. Any “action” in the system is time-stamped and measured for reporting, analytics, and ultimately process improvement.
Consider the following measurable goals that can be directly improved by the incorporation of a technologically advanced nurse call system:
- Achieve at least a 90% patient satisfaction score.
- Achieve zero falls for patients.
- Lower the response time to patient call requests to under 3 minutes.
- Assess pain medication or medications requiring re-assessment occurring only within the appropriate time range, as defined by the policy.
Smart nurse call system technology consistently facilitates process improvement, resulting in safer, more efficient, timely patient care. Contact a Koorsen representative to learn more about implementing Koorsen’s Nurse Call system in your healthcare facility.