Vocera, Hospitalists, Nocturnists and DND

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on April 22, 2009

According to the March 12th issues of the New England Journal of Medicine (as reported in MedPage Today), in some regions of the US, upwards of 70% of inpatient care now being taken care of by hospitalists. With the steady rise of these physicians who are primarily hospital employees, it's no surprise that these doctors are increasingly part of workflow technologies like Vocera. Communication needs and preferences are very different for different clinical roles, and hospitalists are no exception. The following illustrates a Vocera workflow for hospitalists that accommodate their preferred communication style. It's a great example of how incredibly creative ... More »

Vocera and the Night Transporters

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on April 10, 2009

Recently, while doing regular rounds as part of our ongoing support for one of our customers, I observed Kathy G (night manager) and a nurse pushing a bed with a patient in it to one of the nursing units. When I asked her where the transporter was (Brian M. was in the Night Transporter Group), she replied that she could not reach him. I made a mental note to come back and chat with her regarding how we could make some modifications to Vocera's calling behavior and workflow to help her in this type of situation. She later had time to meet ... More »

Voalte Creates Sparks @ HIMSS2009

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on April 9, 2009

After a very exhausting quick two day run through HIMSS2009 in Chicago, my colleague Bill McKenna asked me whether I had any takeaways. If I was true to form, Bill would have gotten a very quick read from me, but as we finished up lunch, I didn’t really have a fast or easy answer. Now riding the plane back to New York, I take a moment to make some commentary. Bill and I had a bit of hit list at HIMSS and we worked to catch up with vendors who work in our areas of focus: voice communications, alarm management, and ... More »

Why Putting an AP in Your Parking Lot Won't Really Help you stop Vocera Badges from Walking

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on October 2, 2008

Finding Vocera® devices that leave your campus is an issue that many customers are grappling with...What's an organization to do? Best practice for mobile asset management is a strong unit level coordination with well defined, managed procedures and financial accountability. In many organizations, despite management's best intentions, that turns out be difficult. It's not uncommon to put drop boxes by the employee exit. One of our customers experimented with badge sign-out that required users to give car keys (or something else essential) as collateral (I’m pretty sure this was abandoned). Other customers have even gone further to ensure control, including the ... More »

Watch out for Surveillance Cameras…Wireless Ones that Is

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on September 2, 2008

We've had several complaints over the last few weeks regarding the degradation of wireless voice quality at one of our hospital accounts.  What was perplexing about what we were hearing from users (and confirmed by our own people on site), is that the specific areas had previously not had problems.  Signal strength on Vocera badges seemed absolutely fine, and there was a nearby access point. Last Thursday, I joined David, one of our network engineers to investigate further.  This post is for the benefit of those without wireless expertise.  For the engineers reading this post, what we found out will not ... More »

When does a Badge's Last Used (BLU) status change?

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on August 29, 2008

Some of our users have noticed that the Vocera report server sometimes doesn't seem to know about certain badges being logged into. This has to do with how Vocera logs inventory data. In order for a badge’s "last used" status to change in the Badge Last Used (BLU) report (or Devicekeeper, for those of you that use it), a user has to log in the badge and still be logged in when the badge updates its inventory record in the logs. This update occurs every 15 minutes (from when the badge is powered on).

Let other users know where you are

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on June 16, 2008

Recently one of our customers asked if there was a way, when going off the Vocera network, to let other users know where they were instead of only hearing that the user was "not currently on the network". This would also help determine that a wireless problem was not to blame. Recording a greeting was the perfect solution for this. Just issue the command "Record a Greeting" and you can record a message that will be played when you are unreachable (i.e. "I'm currently at lunch and will return at 1pm"). The caller will then be given the opportunity to leave ... More »

Badge Labeling Tips

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on May 8, 2008

In order to help keep track of Vocera badges, it's a good idea to create a labeling scheme. For instance, have your Labor & Delivery unit badges labeled as L&D-1, L&D-2, etc. This helps units keep track of their inventory. It's also helpful if users try to use the same badge every day. It helps keep them from getting lost if someone from each shift is always looking for "their" badge and they know who uses it on the prior shift. Dymo and P-touch labels do the job quite well. Consider making the labels with enough tape ... More »

What's In Your Vocera Badge Repair Toolkit? Here's what's in mine.

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on May 8, 2008

I never go to a Vocera client site without the following in my tool bag: Vocera repair kit Goo Gone (or similar adhesive remover/cleaner) Napkins/tissues for applying the Goo Gone Paper clip or tweezers for removing pieces of broken battery clip from the grooves Super glue in case of broken plastic A couple of toothpicks - for applying glue Fine-point permanent marker (for writing the badge label info next to the bar code under the battery) Pencil eraser (for removing the aforementioned handwritten label if necessary)

Eeeww. My badge is covered in sticky tape adhesive and who knows what else.

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on May 8, 2008

Battery clips break. A temporary user fix is to tape the battery in place. Cellophane tape, medical tape, whatever is handy. Problem is, once the battery clip is fixed, the residue from the tape remains. Bring on the Goo Gone cleaner and wipe that adhesive mess right off. It's great stuff - gets the sticky stuff off and leaves the badge clean. I carry a small bottle of it in my badge repair kit.

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