What Has Been The Evolution of Nurse Call Systems?

Posted November 16, 2023 by Koorsen Fire & Security


Nurse call systems have come a long way in revolutionizing healthcare communication. From the humble beginnings of bells and manual call buttons, these systems have evolved into advanced communication solutions that enhance patient care, improve workflow efficiency, and promote staff collaboration. In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating journey of nurse call systems and the technological advancements that have shaped their evolution.

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The Early Days

Bells and Manual Call Buttons In the early days of healthcare, nurse call systems were rudimentary and relied on manual call buttons or bell systems. Patients would pull a cord or press a button to alert nurses, and bells would ring in the nursing station to indicate a patient's request for assistance. While these systems provided a basic means of communication, they were limited in their effectiveness and required nurses to respond to each alert physically.

Introduction of Intercom Systems

As technology advanced, intercom systems were introduced to nurse call systems, allowing patients to communicate directly with nurses through audio. These systems enabled better communication between patients and nurses, reducing response times and improving the overall patient experience. However, they still had limitations in terms of scalability and flexibility.

Integration with Wireless Communication

The advent of wireless communication brought significant improvements to nurse call systems. Wireless technologies allowed for more flexible communication between patients and nurses, eliminating the constraints of physical wires and enabling mobility within healthcare facilities. Wireless nurse call systems introduced handheld devices, pagers, or smartphones for nurses, providing them with real-time alerts and allowing them to respond promptly to patient needs.

Integration with Electronic Health Records (EHR)

With the digitalization of healthcare records, nurse call systems began integrating with electronic health record (EHR) systems. This integration allowed for seamless information exchange, enabling nurses to access patient information, record their responses, and update care plans directly through the nurse call system interface. Integrating nurse call systems with EHR systems enhanced efficiency, accuracy, and continuity of care.

Advanced Features and Intelligent Alarms

Modern nurse call systems are equipped with advanced features and intelligent alarm capabilities. These systems can prioritize alarms based on the urgency of the patient's condition, ensuring that nurses are alerted to critical situations promptly. Additionally, some systems incorporate location-based tracking, allowing nurses to locate patients quickly and respond more efficiently in emergencies.

Integration with Mobile Devices and Wearables

The latest advancements in nurse call systems involve integrating mobile devices and wearables. Nurses can receive alerts and communicate with patients through smartphones, tablets, or wearable devices, enabling them to provide timely care regardless of their location within the facility. Mobile integration enhances the agility and responsiveness of nurses, promoting efficient care delivery.


The evolution of nurse call systems from bells and manual call buttons to advanced communication solutions has revolutionized healthcare communication and patient care. The introduction of intercom systems, wireless communication, integration with electronic health records, and the incorporation of advanced features have all contributed to improved workflow efficiency, enhanced patient experience, and better collaboration among healthcare teams. As technology continues to advance, nurse call systems will likely become even more sophisticated, empowering healthcare professionals to provide optimal care and support. You can stay ahead of these new system trends by talking to a Koorsen Fire & Security expert today!

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