Wearability Really Matters When it comes to Alarm Notification and Device Integration

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on March 19, 2013

With Google's Project Glass  as well as Apple and Samsung's smart watches soon upon us (and of course the infamous Kickstarter fueled Pebble), there's new attention to wearable communications devices that's interesting to see unfold. For any of us who have fumbled with mobile device interfaces for the last 15 or 20 years, the focus on eliminating physical barriers is encouraging. Best of all, it is likely to yield some significant user experience improvements that should carry over to the non-cyborg day-to-day devices we carry. As an inveterate geek and entrepreneur, my hat is off to these technology behemoths for trying ... More »

Midstate Medical Supercharges Legacy Nursecall

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on June 25, 2012

Last spring Gary Blumberg at Midstate Medical Center (Meriden, CT) called to ask if there was a way to tweak their nursecall/Vocera workflow to accommodate staff members taking breaks or leaving the nursing unit. While I enjoy giving rapid fire sage wisdom to my customers, the answer was not as simple as having users pressing the DND button on their Vocera communication badge. If you know anything about the way nursing units work, you will understand why what seemed like a relatively simple request turned into deeper discussions about nursecall workflow in general… So if someone went to lunch, who should receive ... More »

Vocera Nurse Call Integration @ Midstate Medical Center

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on April 27, 2012

We recently collaborated with Midstate Medical Center (Meriden, CT) to deliver a tightly integrated workflow that quickly and efficiently connects patient alarms and caregivers. Midstate's goal is to provide a "safer and more satisfying experience" for their patients. This short Midstate produced training video show off their processes in action and clearly demonstrates how the organization is working to achieve their patient goals. Building off of their legacy Rauland Responder IV nurse call system (circa 1998), Midstate's workflow processes are tied together with Connexall's alarm messaging workflow engine, and Vocera Communication badges. The end result is a refined process with detailed performance ... More »

Ever Wish You Had a List of All Vocera Commands? [Updated for 4.3]

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on April 7, 2012

Way back when Vocera was in version 1, someone in Cupertino shared a spreadsheet with me that had all the voice commands listed. At some point it was determined that this was not a good thing to give out to customers, and now everything is more properly tucked into the Users' Guide. Many times I've just wanted to quickly look up a command and not have to resort to RTFM. So for those who learning styles call for the command spreadsheet, I offer the Vocera Command Summary Spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel format). BTW, this doesn't include any of the easter eggs ... More »

Are You Out of Vocera Licenses All of a Sudden?

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on March 26, 2012

In spite of seemingly having enough licenses (300 Enterprise), one our customers hit the wall Vocera licensing wise. There was a huge discrepancy between the number of active users in the admin console and the number of logged in users. For some reason the customer had chosen to not enable auto-logout (default for this is 60 m) in their setup. It seems that large numbers of users have been using the system but NOT logging out of their devices. It is likely that they are either turning them off, or taking them out of the building. Since "auto logout" was not ... More »

Is Passive RFID Really an Option for Active RFID?

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on May 26, 2010

As is the case most of the time, healthcare customers don't really care whether they have active or passive RFID technology only that it solves their business problem. The only time they begin to care is when they realize the tag and infrastructure expense and consider the real return on that investment. In addition to the tags, all RFID solutions require varying degrees of sensing technology to be layered on top of the existing environment. This often opens up a complex set of issues for facilities, IT and the clinical staff. For both passive and active, the ... More »

In Healthcare Communications, One Device Does Not Fit All…Yet

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on January 4, 2010

Is Your Hospital Considering a One Communication Device Strategy? Here are some key points to consider from my recent article in EnterpriseMobileToday.com. 1. Usability matters. A NICU nurse whose hands are busy diapering a baby has very different needs than someone dispatching code teams, or an anesthesiologist. In pointing out the difference between purpose-built healthcare devices like those from Ascom, Vocera or Cisco (and say a BlackBerry or an iPhone), Emergin often talks about "buttonology." Visualize code team members fumbling for the Chiclet-sized keys on a BlackBerry Bold when needing to respond to an emergency situation. When seconds matter, better to have ... More »

If You’re Looking at RTLS, Don’t Overlook Passive RFID and Other Notes from RFID in Health Care 2009 – Boston

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on September 18, 2009

Just back from attending RFIDJournal’s RFID in Health Care 2009 conference yesterday in Waltham, MA. In spite of the economic downturn, the good news is that RFID continues to gain momentum in healthcare because it is having real impact on productivity and the bottom line. What was once just a promising set of technologies and solutions is increasingly becoming mainstream. Some takeaways from the event... it seems that there are enough forces to motivate the market away from WiFi solutions. Second, creative funding models are really what are helping the adoption of enterprise solutions along with managed services. The shift away ... More »

Real-time Location Systems (RTLS) in Healthcare: Wi-Not Wi-Fi?

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on August 7, 2009

Just finished reading David Hoglund's newest white paper on RTLS in healthcare. If you are in healthcare technology, and are not already tracking David's excellent Healthcare Wireless and Device Connectivity blog I highly suggest either firing up your RSS reader and pointing it here, or signing up for his newsletter here. You can download the white paper here here. I'm not always a great fan of white papers as I often find them manipulative point of view wise, but I think this piece (except for a couple of paragraphs at the end) gives a very impartial read on the whys and ... More »

Alarm Management Middleware and the Enterprise

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on May 3, 2009

Consultant, "Connectologist," and industry observer Tim Gee's Medical Connectivity site is one of the rare places on the internet that covers the healthcare alarm management middleware space. Recently he published a series of  posts tracking activities at Globestar's Annual User group meeting in Lisbon, where he served as the keynote speaker where he brings to life some real life examples of middleware applications in acute care. In his 05/01/09 post Tim reports on case studies shared by three Canadian hospitals who are using Globestar's ConnexALL® to meet their respective workflow and alarm management requirements. And while these case studies will be ... More »

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  • Tony Clayton: Agree with others that open standards, i.e. SIP is the way to go. As an example our ICW-1000G Dual Band...
  • David Hoglund: Wow, did I strike a cord or not! All validates the issues at hand. Yes, for the facts I did receive...
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  • Bill: Greg: Thanks for your comments. I agree that passive is not an RTLS solution but is lumped in with the broadly...
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