To ensure prompt response to physiological patient monitor alerts, some hospitals now operate centralized telemetry units. Although such units can help alleviate the prevalent problem of caregiver alarm fatigue, sharing this monitoring data with floor nurses often can be a frustrating, time-consuming ordeal for telemetry technicians.
In a featured presentation at this year’s Voalte User Experience conference (VUE19), Kevin Spolini, MSN, RN, Clinical Communications Director, talked about how UCSF Health’s centralized telemetry unit expedited more efficient communications between technicians and nurses by sending near real-time waveforms to caregivers’ Voalte smartphones. Earlier in the conference, Spolini received the 2019 Voalte Innovator of the Year award, which each year is given to a healthcare leader who creatively uses communication technology to enhance care team collaboration, protect patient safety and improve quality of care.
“Kevin is always looking for new ways to leverage and expand the capabilities of smartphone technology,” said Trey Lauderdale, VP and General Manager of Care Communications for Hillrom. “We appreciate and honor his valuable contributions not only to UCSF Health and its patients but also to helping us advance clinical communications.”
In his VUE19 presentation, Kevin noted that central telemetry units historically have relied on paper assignment sheets, sticky notes on monitors, and telephone calls to manage and share information. Many telemetry techs spend an inordinate amount of their time trying to track down caregivers.
UCSF Health addressed these shortcomings by integrating telemetry, alarm middleware and Voalte solutions, which enables the telemetry unit to immediately find and send a message to the right person. And because nurses can view waveforms on their Voalte smartphones, they have the critical information to take appropriate action, even when they are far away from the patient whose monitor triggered the alarm.
Since implementing this technology, UCSF Health telemetry technicians have significantly more time to spend monitoring patients instead of making or answering phone calls. When analyzing outbound and inbound calls over a 16-week period pre- and post-implementation, UCSF Health found:
- Total call volume dropped from 17,949 to 6,178, a 66% reduction
- Total amount of time techs spent on calls dropped from 167.6 hours to 29.4 hours, an 82% reduction
To learn more about how UCSF Health and other leading hospitals are taking full advantage of Voalte solutions for connected care, see our case studies.