The Scalpel's Blog

16.04.20

Covid-19: Protecting Staff, Protecting Patients

Words by Ben Kanter, MD, FCCP, Chief Medical Information Officer, Vocera

Clinicians and nurses contend with infectious diseases every day. The Covid-19 pandemic is highlighting this stressful aspect of care, partly because it is highly contagious, and also because it’s creating unprecedented demand to protect hospital staff coupled with the need to optimise patient flow.

Caregivers Shouldn’t Risk Contamination for Communication

Without effective communication, patients cannot be moved through a hospital. And, yet, with a highly infectious virus, the simple act of communicating using conventional tools puts caregivers at risk.

If you are a nurse wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) while treating a patient behind closed doors and must urgently contact someone for assistance, you’re faced with a problem.

You may have to interrupt caring for your patient to communicate using the intercom. If there is no intercom, you will need to leave the patient’s bedside and remove your PPE, risking self-contamination and delaying your ability to have the necessary discussion. The less you need to temporarily remove PPE, the safer you are. Additionally, by not removing PPE to communicate, you will preserve your valuable, but limited, supply of protective gear. Here is where Vocera® technology can provide you with an ideal solution: our wearable, hands-free devices. 

Communication technology is an integral component of PPE

Worn under PPE, our classic Vocera Badge and the new Smartbadge give you and your staff access to a clear, secure, hands-free communication channel that will keep everyone safer - whether they are working in a triage tent, ICU, an isolation room, or elsewhere in the hospital. And it enables care teams to provide safer, high-quality patient care.

Using a voice interface to connect care team members - either by name, role, location or group (“Call Robert Jones”, “Call room 101 nurse”,  “Call lab”, or “Broadcast to rapid response team”) - eliminates the need to remove PPE or touch a device, and allows for unfettered, efficient communication.

Optimising Throughput and Capacity

Effective communication is essential for optimising throughput and capacity, which are key to managing patient surges anticipated during a pandemic of this scale. A hospital must be able to move patients through the continuum of care quickly and safely. 

As an example: whether a patient tests positive or negative for Covid-19, it’s vital that care teams are notified immediately. Patients who test negative can be moved out of isolation rooms, freeing them up - and potentially other resources - for other patients.

When a hospital’s communication and clinical systems are integrated, processes can be automated, reducing the risk of communication delays or errors and shortening the time to react. Automatic alerts sent when certain triggers occur means caregivers don’t need to constantly monitor the EHR for status updates. Critical lab results, as an example, can be sent directly to the right care team member in real time. Patient care is expedited, throughput is improved, and clinicians have less to remember, alleviating cognitive burden. Deploying notifications intelligently reduces the toil and stress on care teams.

In this challenging time, it has never been more critical to keep staff and patients safe and in touch with each other. By taking advantage of systems integrations, intelligent workflows, and hands-free communication devices, hospitals can advance their protection efforts now. 

Vocera is here to take care of you as you continue to take care of your staff and patients. Visit our COVID-19 resource page for more helpful resources and information.

Logo (Main) White Background

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

NHS Confederation: Complacency must be avoided in lockdown easing

29/05/2020NHS Confederation: Complacency must be avoided in lockdown easing

Alongside welcoming in news of further easing of lockdown measures in England, NHS Confederation Chief Executive Niall Dickson also issued a star... more >
Supporting NHS trusts, employees and their families in remote working

28/05/2020Supporting NHS trusts, employees and their families in remote working

Words provided by Skillsoft, editorially reviewed by National Health Executive The shift to remote working has been sudden and dramatic for ... more >
RCGP: GP input will be vital to local level success

28/05/2020RCGP: GP input will be vital to local level success

As the UK government unveils its new NHS Test and Trace programme, the Chair of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP), Professor Martin Marshall, outli... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us through your career in healthcare? My parents both worked in the NHS on the frontline. My mum was a GP, and my dad was a nephrologist in inner city L... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Pre-diabetes: a hidden healthcare problem

26/05/2020Pre-diabetes: a hidden healthcare problem

Dr Russell Muirhead, Clinical Director of Living Well, Taking Control A third of adults in England have pre-diabetes, according to research published in The BMJ. The study also found that, over eight years, the number of people diagnosed with pre-diabetes tripled. By 2025, it is estimated that five million people will have diabetes in the U... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >
332 304x150 NHE Callout banner.

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental health and wellbeing. As the best rugby players in the world repr... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

13/06/2019Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

Nurses have been named as the most under-appreciated public sector professionals as new research reveals how shockingly under-vauled our NHS, edu... more >
Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

10/06/2019Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

Peter Skitt, county director and commissioner for Ceredigion Hywel Dda University Health Board, looks ahead to the new integrated care centre bei... more >

health service focus

View all News

interviews

Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

24/10/2019Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

Today, speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) annual conference, Matt Hancock highlighted what he believes to be the three... more >
NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

17/09/2019NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

Over 20 years ago, a Teesside hospital cleaner put down her mop and took steps towards her midwifery dreams. Lisa Payne has been delivering ... more >
How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >