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Wireless Technology Improves Nursing Workflow and Communications

BRESLIN, SUSAN MSN, RN; GRESKOVICH, WILLIAM MBA; TURISCO, FRAN MBA

FEATURE ARTICLE
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Inpatient healthcare delivery involves complex processes that require interdisciplinary teamwork and frequent communication among physicians, nurses, unit secretaries, and ancillary staff. Often, these interactions are not at a nursing unit, or near a phone. In an effort to address the inefficiencies of these workflow processes and communications, St. Agnes HealthCare, Baltimore, MD, installed a new hands-free communications system that uses a wireless network, voice recognition, and a small wearable badge. Developed by Vocera, the communications system permits one-button access to others on the system or connects to outside phones through PBX integration. While many agree that today's technology has the potential to positively impact nursing care delivery, St. Agnes HealthCare and Vocera, with assistance from First Consulting Group, decided to conduct a comprehensive benefits study in December 2003 to quantify the impact of this communications system on workflow and communications. The results identified a number of significant findings that demonstrate its value from a quantitative and qualitative standpoint. The following article describes this study and its findings.

St. Agnes HealthCare, Baltimore, MD (Ms Breslin and Mr Greskovich); and the First Consulting Group, Lexington, MA (Ms Turisco).

Corresponding author: Fran Turisco, MBA, First Consulting Group, 45 Hayden Ave, Suite 2600, Lexington, MA 02421 (e-mail: fturisco@fcg.com).

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.