For any hospital or healthcare facility, a nurse call system is what helps your healthcare providers address the real-time health concerns of your patients. From fall alerts to regular updates and reminders, a nurse call system works to keep your staff connected to each other and to your patients, so you can ensure you’re providing the highest possible level of care. If your facility is considering implementing a new nurse call system or is working on a nurse call system for a new facility, here are five steps to follow for effective nurse call system design:
01. Evaluate Your Needs
The first step to effective nurse call system design is taking the time to evaluate the needs of your hospital or medical facility. For example, a hospital will need a much different nurse call system design than an assisted living or senior living community might.
First, determine what your facility needs according to local regulations and according to your staff. If you’re not sure exactly where to start, consider talking to your staff. They’ll be able to offer insight and let you know what would be most helpful to them, from the types of patient stations that work best, like pull-cords or buttons, to the number of duty stations that might be helpful.
When you have a clear understanding of what your nurse call system needs to incorporate, you’ll be able to better design a system that works well for your unique healthcare facility.
02. Explore Technology Options
Not every nurse call system is the same. Technology varies between different types of call systems and even between brands. Options like wireless cellphone and pager alerts, color-coded light indications, multiple call tones, and even integration with other systems are all features to consider when you’re exploring the technology options available to you.
You’ll also want to take a close look that the software you choose to support your nurse call system. There are a number of solutions out there, but the Vanguard team always recommends the Tek-CARE reporting software. This software monitors the entire nurse call system, enabling operators to sync activity databases from multiple nurse call systems. With these features, you can detailed reports on any system activity from any computer in the network. Full-system connectivity also makes it easy to update to all staff and keep data and reporting together in one place.
03. Establish Areas for Stations
Once you’ve decided what technology and software are best for your facility, you can get to the actual work of designing your nurse call system.
The most important step here is deciding and making space for all necessary stations. You’ll need to allocate space for patient stations, likely in every room, with pull-cords or buttons in patient bathrooms as well. You’ll also need to determine the best areas to place duty stations and the nurse master station.
Since every hospital and healthcare facility is designed a bit differently, it’s worth it to take some time deciding where you’ll place all stations. You want patient stations to be conveniently located for the patient, and you want nurse stations to be as centrally located as possible, so nurses don’t need to stray too far away from patients while logging information and checking for calls.
04. Plan for Installation
With a clear picture of where you’ll place stations, as well as other nurse call system features like corridor lights, it’s time to develop a plan for the installation of your nurse call system.
It’s important to find a nurse call system provider with plenty of experience working in your industry, whether you’re a hospital or a nursing home. It’s also a good idea to consider a company that installs more than just nurse call systems — if you can find a team that offers comprehensive installation of all fire, security and life safety systems, it’s much easier to complete installation on your timeline, and you get the added benefit of seamless system installation.
Another important step to take as you plan for your nurse call system’s installation is a risk assessment. This is required for hospitals and healthcare facilities and helps you develop a plan to train and educate your team on how to use this new nurse call system effectively. It’s also a good way to identify potential concerns and develop a plan in the event of an emergency.
05. Schedule Regular Testing and Maintenance
Work on your nurse call system shouldn’t end after installation. Your nurse call technology is integral to the safe, effective healthcare your facility provides, so it’s important to ensure the system always working properly. After your nurse call system is installed, work with your service provider to get on a regular test and maintenance schedule. Depending on your local regulations and your specific healthcare facility, you’ll need to meet specific testing and maintenance requirements — establishing a regular schedule with your system provider will help keep your facility ahead of those requirements as well as ensuring your technology is always working the way it should.
Implementing a nurse call system in your healthcare facility? Let the Vanguard Fire & Security Systems team help you navigate the design and installation process. Simply tell us what you need, and we’ll make it happen with top-of-the-line nurse call system technology. For more information or to set up a consultation, give us a call at 800-444-8719 or contact us online today.