A survey commissioned by Cisco shows that patient care can be hindered and hours wasted by poor communications technologies for nurses. The vendor wants to change that with the Cisco Nurse Connect solution, which integrates nurse communications applications onto Cisco's wireless IP phones. The Cisco offering will help nurses improve communications with patients and caregivers, and reduce the amount of time nurses have to spend tracking down information from other people.
Cisco Systems is looking to improve communications capabilities for nurses.
At the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Conference in
Chicago April 6, Cisco unveiled its Cisco Nurse Connect solution, which
integrates nurse call applications from third-party vendors with Cisco's
Unified Wireless IP 7925G phones that will enable nurses to send call alerts to
caregivers. For example, Cisco is integrating the Responder line of nurse
communications applications from Rauland-Borg into the phone.
Among other tasks, the Responder applications integrate the newest
communications technologies-such as wireless phones and pagers-with traditional
nurse call equipment, and offer a network-based solution that can be accessed
via a PC to help with such jobs as scheduling, bed management, and real-time
staff and patient information.
Cisco officials said the 7925G phones were designed to support safety and
biohazard requirements of hospitals, including a battery that can be used for up
to 13 hours before a recharge is needed, and Bluetooth support so nurses can
use them in a hands-free mode. The phones also are hermetically sealed.
Cisco unveiled the Cisco Nurse Connect offering the same day the company
released results of a survey-commissioned by Cisco and conducted by Zogby
International-that showed problems for patients, doctors and nurses resulting
from poor communication capabilities.
According to the survey of 250 nurses, 86 percent of them said they waste at
least 2 hours each shift chasing down people to get information. About 48
percent said the top communications need is improved ability to find out the
location and availability of care team members.
About 60 percent said they work 10 hours of overtime a week to make up for
time lost trying to track down other people in the hospital.
In addition, 92 percent of nurses surveyed said there is a medium to high
impact on patient safety due to communication lapses, and 19 percent said they
could better avoid patient care errors with better communications devices.
Cisco officials said its new solution for nurses improves the situation by
giving nurses two-way communications with patients and the ability to then send
requests to heath care personnel after consulting with the patient. It also
cuts down the time nurses have to spend walking to and from the nursing
"Our survey clearly shows that by improving communications, hospitals
can directly improve quality of care and even their bottom line," Kaveh Safavi,
vice president for the Global Healthcare Practice in Cisco's Internet Business
Solutions Group, said in a statement. "Equipping nurses with the information
they need, at the time it's needed, will help hospitals realize significant
time and cost savings as well as improved patient care."