Vocera rollout revolutionises regional health service security and comms

Vocera Communications
Wednesday, 20 January, 2021

ICT experts at Bairnsdale Regional Health Services (BRHS) wanted to improve security and communication systems across the health service, including their aged-care facility.

“Prior to Vocera, our aged-care facility was working with two wireless IT phones, which were carried by the Nurse in Charge and Co-ordinator,” BRHS ICT Manager Peter Binding explained.

“Everyone else had to get themselves to a fixed line or physically go looking for someone — a frustrating and time-consuming process that diverts nurses’ time away from their patients.”

Binding explained that when he came across Vocera’s solution, he felt it would be a good fit for BRHS’s needs.

“We were looking to improve communication, security and duress infrastructure management across the health service, including aged care.

“With Vocera, staff are assigned badges, which have a duress feature for use in an emergency, making staff feel safer while working — but the real buzz for the staff is the ability to instantly communicate with other staff members.

“The instant communication ability prevents a lot of stress and time wastage on our healthcare workers. Instead of having to physically search for a particular staff member, they just contact them instantly with the push of a button.”

Clinical management also find the ability to broadcast messages to their teams a great time saver, and the system helps them physically locate a staff member through badge tracking.

Positive reviews of Vocera among aged-care staff meant that soon, staff in the acute wards wanted to use the technology. This began a general rollout of Vocera across the different services that make up BRHS.

Staff find that the system improves workflows, facilitates stress-free communication and heightens feelings of safety while at work.

Infection control benefits

Binding explained that the infection control benefits of Vocera really came into their own during the pandemic, as the Vocera system can be enabled by pressing the button through PPE — everything else is voice activated.

The Vocera rollout at BRHS is still ongoing, with allied health set to see the new technology implemented in their department soon. This will assist with their work when communicating with the rehabilitation ward.

“Vocera will be rolled out across the whole health service, from our acute wards right down to our smaller dialysis unit,” Binding said.

Nurse call

Also ongoing is a project to integrate Vocera with the various nurse call systems throughout the health service, starting in aged care and then across the acute and non-acute wards.

When discussing barriers to implementing a system such as Vocera, Binding said that resistance to change was a major hurdle.

“The biggest issue is getting it into people’s minds that they can now use technology to make their lives easier. They don’t have to walk around the 90-bed aged-care facility or the hospital wards to find someone, they can just say ‘Hey, Vocera,’ and immediately contact whoever they need to.

“Having a progressive, forward-thinking management team is also essential to embrace change and allow these innovative projects to go ahead.

“A gradual implementation has worked for us as it allows people to get used to a new way of working. Change takes time.”

Image caption: Nicole Evans, a nurse on the acute ward.

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