Florida Hospital Dials Up iPhones For Nurses - InformationWeek
02:43 PM
IT Leader's Guide to the Cybersecurity Landscape
May 11, 2017
Thanks to a never-ending stream of major and well-publicized data breaches, security has become on ...Read More>>

Florida Hospital Dials Up iPhones For Nurses

iPhones are helping a Sarasota hospital connect its nursing staff via text messaging, and soon, VoIP telephony.

Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System, a hospital in Florida, plans to deploy iPhones to its nurses, to replace audible alarms and alerts, bringing peace and quiet-- and improved performance--to the healthcare provider.

"One of the biggest problems in any complex environment, particularly healthcare, is communication," CIO Denis Baker said. "It's a nightmare to get a hold of someone, even people on the same floor, as they go about their tasks."

So Baker's ears perked up when he was approached by Voalte about piloting a project. Voalte is a startup developing point-of-care communications using mobile technology. Its application uses iPods to send pages and alerts.

For the 60-day pilot, Sarasota Memorial handed out 25 iPod Touches to nurses on a single floor in June. The decision was made to use the iPod Touch because it's less expensive than the iPhone, does not require a cell-phone service contract, and basically has all the capabilities of the iPhone exclusive of phone functionality.

Also, the hospital wanted to move from text messaging to VoIP telephony, and it anticipated that the Touch would become VoIP-ready in its next version.

A major objective of the project was to reduce the amount of noise and inefficiency involved in calling nurses where they're needed, Baker said.

He explained, "If a patient is in bed and needs assistance with something -- they might be in pain -- they now push a button on the bedside, that goes to the nursing desk, and someone has to hunt down a nurse and make an overhead page. That's inefficient, because it doesn't go to the right person, and it also makes for too many overhead pages." At any given point in the hospital, you can hear an overhead page every three minutes. Noise is a huge complaint in any hospital -- equipment moving, staff conversations, and especially overhead pages. The noise prevents patients from getting the rest they need to heal.

On the floor where the iPods were deployed, the hospital reduced overhead pages from 172 in eight hours to 38. The 25 deployed iPods were receiving 4,000 messages per day. "Nurses were getting comment form patients on how quiet it was," Baker said.

After a successful conclusion to the pilot, hospital senior management early this month approved the deployment of 100 additional devices to a second nursing floor and the critical care environment. The hospital is also looking into giving devices to anesthesiologists for communications between the hospital's 26 emergency rooms.

1 of 4
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Success = Storage & Data Center Performance
Balancing legacy infrastructure with emerging technologies requires laying a solid foundation that delivers flexibility, scalability, and efficiency. Learn what the most pressing issues are, how to incorporate advances like software-defined storage, and strategies for streamlining the data center.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll