I recently had the opportunity to attend my first Voalte “go-live” at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware. On an early weekday morning, I entered the hospital excited and a little bit nervous to see how the Emergency Department staff would respond to their Voalte smartphones.
I had a vested interest to ensure the transition went smoothly. You see, for me this is no ordinary hospital. Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Children’s Hospital is a just a short drive from my home, and where my children might be transported in the event of serious illness or injury. This is the hospital that provided critical care to the children of friends, preventing a neighbor’s son from losing his leg after a serious accident and treating cancer in another’s three-year-old daughter. This is a hospital where miracles happen.
I arrived at the facility during shift change as the staff was carefully checking out their smartphones and logging in to the Voalte system. Most seemed excited to embrace this new communication tool, and with a few quick tutorials they were off and running. A few clinicians were a bit reluctant, but with some hands-on assistance they were onboard in no time.
The Heath Unit Coordinator was especially enthusiastic. Using her desktop computer, she was thrilled with the ability to send text messages to mobile caregivers instead of using overhead pages or making phone calls. She took it upon herself to send practice texts to caregivers throughout the department, laughing as each responded with a quick text back.
It wasn’t long before other hospital departments were “dropping by” to check out the Voalte smartphones and ask how long it would be until they were rolled out on their units.
When I asked a few clinicians why they were so eager to move to smartphones, the standard response was that their legacy communication tools broke easily and did not enable texting. Several employees expressed frustration with the voice recognition technology built into their legacy devices and the inability to recognize complex names.
As I had hoped, the response to the Voalte smartphones was overwhelmingly positive. I was pleasantly surprised how rapidly the hospital staff adapted. With many clinicians using smartphones in their daily lives, it was an easy learning curve for most of the staff. Nurses quickly figured out how to set up their personal profiles, adjust settings and add important contacts to their Favorites list.
As a Voalte employee, I left the hospital proud to be working for such a dynamic company. It was a privilege to witness what can happen when you open up lines of communication and break down barriers that impede clinicians from providing optimal care. In the event of a medical crisis, I take comfort in knowing that when seconds count, Voalte will be there for my kids.