An advanced nurse call system improves communication and workflow across many teams within an organization. The type of nurse call system and key capabilities that work best for an organization can be influenced by a multitude of factors including facility size, location, patient demographics and departmental needs. For example, a hospital in a densely-populated, urban setting will have significantly different needs and resource demands than those of a rural facility.
Take time to work with all groups impacted by the new nurse call system – clinical, IT, transport, environmental services, radiology, pharmacy, facilities – to identify each team’s unique needs, preferences, resources and areas for quality improvement. Gauge different stakeholders’ priority with questions such as:
- How does your team use the nurse call system?
- What specific goals is your team working toward?
- What data collection/analysis capabilities do you use or would you like access to?
- What could increase patient satisfaction scores?
- Where is the biggest opportunity to develop staff?
- What patient/staff data is currently limited or lacking?
Once acquired, you can use the lists to compare all needs and priorities to the capabilities offered by different nurse call systems to see which solutions check the most boxes for all stakeholders. You may find the nurse call system will be utilized differently across teams, with each group optimizing a variety of capabilities to meet their own goals.
For example, clinical staff may call for direct notifications of patient needs to improve workflow while ancillary departments use direct notifications for monitoring resource use and patient transport efficiency. IT departments might prioritize solutions that leverage current infrastructure to reduce costs while patient satisfaction scores are boosted by technology that keeps the healing environment clean and quiet.
A new nurse call system is a 15+ year investment in a technology that will reach a variety of stakeholders and tasks. While functionality and quality will be the main determining factors, it is also important to know your nurse call implementation and maintenance budget to help guide the purchase. Luckily, many systems are customizable to meet the unique needs of the organization.
To ensure you select the most appropriate nurse call system for your organization’s needs, ask stakeholders to rate the importance of each capability. You can narrow down your options based on the top priorities of each team, while cutting costs when necessary by opting out of certain features or add-ons that are less valuable to the stakeholders.
Tip: Don’t forget to include ongoing maintenance and support for the nurse call system in the overall budget.