Saint Francis Care Extends Vocera Deployment to Surgical Services

Posted by: Kenny Schiff on October 5, 2007

Building upon the success of its two-year-old wireless, hands-free communication platform, Saint Francis Care recently asked its technology partner, Stratford, Connecticut-based TPC Healthcare, to expand the reach of the system to include 150 new users. This latest deployment is part of a hospital-wide, patient-centered initiative that includes the construction of a new patient care tower on the Saint Francis campus.

Saint Francis Care’s wireless network leverages the Vocera www.vocera.com communications system, a badge-based solution that allows caregivers to communicate wirelessly using naturally spoken commands. “The system is ideal for hospitals and similar environments where mobile workers need to stay in close contact,” explained Kenny Schiff, managing partner, TPC Healthcare, Inc. Unlike cell phones, which interfere with hospital equipment and require users to stop and dial, the hands-free Vocera system can be safely used throughout a hospital – and reduces the need for noisy overhead paging systems.

Since the initial Vocera installation in February 2005, Saint Francis users have noted decreased noise levels, improved workflow efficiencies, and have been able to respond more quickly to patient calls, especially after hours. Moreover, they like using the badges.

“With our fast-paced environment, working with multidisciplinary teams, we were looking for a solution to improve communication throughout surgical services,” said Lynn Aldrich, Saint Francis Care’s operating room (OR) clinical educator. “We anticipate improving our multitasking abilities by having a hands-free system that won’t tie us down to a conventional phone.”

As part of the expansion project, Saint Francis Care will deploy the majority of Vocera badges to the operating room and to anesthesiology staff. The Saint Francis OR team anticipates that the Vocera badges will improve communications and efficiency. The rest of the badges will be used by endoscopy, radiology, ambulatory surgery and cardiac surgery.

“Wireless has increasingly become an important part of Saint Francis’ enterprise communication strategy,” explained Mike DeLuca, Administrative Director of Infrastructure and Enterprise IT Services for Saint Francis Care.

“Expanding Vocera into our ORs and related surgical services allows us to continue to leverage our existing wireless infrastructure for multiple technologies while providing staff with workflow tools. This expansion is an important next step toward integrating the right communications framework into our new patient tower.”

At Saint Francis and elsewhere, wireless communication systems are streamlining the way hospitals do business. “Traditional communications are not suited to the mobility of healthcare professionals,” explained Schiff. “It’s a huge drain on productivity to send highly paid professionals scurrying for instruments, medication and other items. With one touch of a Vocera badge, doctors and nurses can instantly reach out for the help they need, saving valuable time and increasing operating room efficiency.”

About TPC Healthcare

Headquartered in Stratford, Connecticut, TPC Healthcare is a full-service technology and communications solutions provider delivering wireless voice, workflow/middleware messaging applications and managed support services to healthcare organizations. TPC Healthcare focuses on offering customers technology expertise, exceptional levels of service and years of experience developing healthcare communications solutions. For more information, visit www.tpchealthcare.com.

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