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Healthcare Alerting: Who Needs to Know and HOW Quickly?

Fast and reliable healthcare alerting for medical devices is critical in the patient care continuum

When it comes to notification of critical alerts from patient care devices, getting notification to the right caregivers at the right time is critical in the care delivery process. Life-threatening alerts from medical devices should be delivered to the appropriate caregivers quickly and reliably, allowing for a timely response to the devices’ alert.

In today’s healthcare environment, life-critical situations are detected every day by patient care devices. These situations require an urgent response by clinical personnel. One way to ensure these critical alerts get to the right caregivers as quickly as possible is with a response paging system. These response paging systems convert care device alerts into HL7 messages and broadcast these critical alerts directly to the appropriate caregivers’ pagers. The caregivers must then respond to the alert with who is responding and when they will respond. NO other critical alert medium provides this speed and assurance that someone is responding and when the response will occur to a medical device’s critical alert message.

Nurses – the “front line” of patient care delivery need efficient and reliable alert messaging

For nursing call systems, hospitals have relied for many years on stationary bedside pull cords, push buttons installed in beds and other stationary devices placed in bathrooms and throughout the hospital.

Today, there is a better solution. It is a small handheld device, about the size of a door opening pendant on a key chain. The device is completely mobile and can be carried by the patient anywhere her or she goes in the hospital. The system operates as part of a response paging system. A patient simply pushes a button on the pendant, which transmits a low-power signal that immediately notifies the assigned nurse through a pager or other wireless device.

This nurse alert system is easy to install and very reliable. It can operate as a dedicated standalone system, or serve as a low-cost, rapidly deployable backup.  The mobile handheld system is an excellent solution for hospitals of any size due to its price point which offers hospitals a cost-effective alternative to the more expensive nurse call systems that are in the healthcare marketplace today.

Critical administrative alerts also need a high priority

Not every critical message in a hospital’s daily operation directly affects patient care. Often the administration of a hospital requires that its management send and receive critical message that MUST be read and acknowledge due to their critical nature. An entire gamut of subjects fall into this category, such as natural disaster alerts, community disasters that will impact the hospital, and any number of medical emergencies that require immediate staff notification. When critical messaging is necessary, how do you ensure those messages are being sent and responded to? There is one sure way, and that is by using a response paging system. A response paging system can deliver high-priority text messages within five seconds to all intended recipients, then track who received each message, who read each message, and how they are responding. Response information is available in real time and is also stored for long-term recordkeeping, removing uncertainty and increasing efficiency for critical and urgent messaging.  A response page system provides dedicated high-performance messaging where and when it’s needed within the hospital.

Code paging – Nothing can be left to chance

When hospitals need to send and receive critical code alerts – nothing can be left to chance. In these situations, healthcare providers must have assurance that the code messages have been sent and that their receipt is acknowledged — no matter where the recipients are; a quick and accurate response is critical.

Only one communication medium can truly provide this reliable assurance and that is response paging. A response paging system can deliver high-priority text messages within five seconds to all intended recipients, and then track who received each message, who read each message, and how they are responding. Response information is available in real time and is also stored for long-term recordkeeping, removing uncertainty for critical code messaging.

Why not just use just a smartphone for code paging? Several reasons — smartphones are susceptible to dropped calls, and they are also vulnerable to network outages during hurricanes, earthquakes, blackouts, and other regional emergencies. These devices are simply not suited for code alerts and other urgent hospital messaging.