I walked through a beautiful new building at a children’s hospital recently. The Emergency Department, and even the triage rooms, were outfitted with the latest tools to care for children at every level of acuity. Patient floors were expansive, with private rooms and bright, colorful designs sporting earth, sky and space themes. Windows were plentiful, letting natural light stream in for optimal healing.
Yet even in this modern setting, I saw evidence of old, inefficient tools being used for care team communication and collaboration. Legacy Ascom phones rang constantly in pockets and on desks, and nurses dragged around cumbersome workstations on wheels. Pagers buzzed every few minutes on the belt loops of Respiratory Therapists and physicians. At the well-appointed nursing desk, a Unit Secretary answered the nurse call console, then sent notifications to RNs and CNAs, but with almost no context, such as “NC – Room 502.” As she scrambled to answer nurse calls, her desk phone also continued to ring. She told me she hears frequent complaints from parents about the noise of overhead paging and ringing phones, which wake up their children at night.
These brand-new buildings with gorgeous interior design and state-of-the-art medical equipment can cost health systems hundreds of millions of dollars. Patients and their families benefit from a beautiful environment and more privacy, but the additional space creates communication challenges for the care team, resulting in more phone calls and overhead pages, which makes for a noisier environment. It’s interesting that while many of today’s hospitals look much different than they did years ago, they still sound the same.
Voalte Platform™ can help solve all of these problems, resulting in better patient safety, higher levels of staff satisfaction and a quieter environment. And compared to the major investment necessary to implement an electronic medical records system or build a modern patient tower, a comprehensive communication platform is relatively inexpensive, and brings an immediate return on investment. (Take a look at our new infographic, “Smartphone ROI,” to see how Voalte customers have used a smartphone platform to save time and money.)
Voalte Platform also has the flexibility to deliver a unified solution for a wide range of healthcare settings and a broad spectrum of healthcare workers. Our customers are streamlining workflows across acute and ambulatory settings, for example, and connecting workers that extend way beyond the care team to include Environmental Services, Nutrition, Security, Central Supply, Lab, Pharmacy, Transport, Specialists and all the other roles critical to patient care and throughput. Only when everyone is connected across the healthcare enterprise can you realize the full benefits of a comprehensive communication platform.
If your health system is planning for a new construction project or looking to update an existing facility, remember that these upgrades will bring some new communication challenges for your care teams. Contact me to discuss the ways Voalte Platform can help.
Austin Paramore is Area Sales Manager at Voalte.