By Wendy Grafius, contributing writer
Nemours Children’s Hospital has brought together a unique combination of nurse call, real-time locating system (RTLS) and patient engagement technology to help put children and their families at ease
Nemours Children’s Hospital has collaborated with three vendors to implement technology in its 2012-built facility in Orlando that provides targeted information to families, easing concerns of both its young patients and their parents. The unique combination of 21st century innovations will be showcased at HIMMS14 in Orlando from February 23rd-27th.
First, officials at Nemours chose Responder 5 Nurse Call System from Rauland-Borg Corporation of Florida (RBF) to correctly route nurses to patient calls for assistance. Next, Nemours added Versus’ real-time locating system (RTLS), a combination of infrared and radio-frequency (RFID) technology that enabled nurses wearing Versus locator badges to be automatically recognized upon entering a patient’s room, eliminating the need to manually cancel a call, and allowing quicker attention to care of the patient. “The nurses love Responder with the RTLS call cancellation, but we knew we could take the technology further,” said Elizabeth Rodriguez, application support supervisor and member of Nemours’ Bedside Technology Team.
The third vendor, GetWellNetwork, was contracted to provide its Interactive Patient Care engagement solution, in which educational content and information regarding the hospital stay was broadcast to patients and families on in-room TVs. “We were already developing an interface with GetWellNetwork where doctors can order educational videos in the EMR and have them automatically pop up on the patient’s TV,” said Rodriguez. “We thought something similar could be done with staff location in the room.”
The result of integrating all three technologies was an employee identification system that instantly pops up on a patient’s bedside TV as well as a running log of all caregivers that enter the patient’s room each day. “When an employee enters the room, the Versus RTLS sends that information through Rauland Responder to GetWellNetwork,” said Mark Chamberlain, application support analyst at Nemours. “GetWellNetwork taps into our database, popping up the employee’s credentials and photo on the TV regardless of what else is playing.” Added Rodriquez, “The RTLS allows us to keep an audit trail in GetWellNetwork. The data of who has been in the patient room is available, in case the family would like to see if a doctor has made his rounds while they were out.”
The integrated technology was so well-received that more than 200 Nemours employees now wear Versus badges. The pilot included only nurses and physicians, but with requests from other departments, respiratory therapists, rehabilitation staff, and others were included. “Wearing the badge makes a big difference when we first enter a patient room,” said John Rendle, director of respiratory therapy at Nemours. “When the patient and family can recognize you from your photo, know your name, what you do, and know you’re supposed to be there, it really puts them at ease.”
Nemours’ innovative solution of leveraging technology for improved communication and transparency supports the hospital’s patient- and family-centered care focus. “It was truly extraordinary to watch it develop from concept to reality, and our partnership with these three vendors was critical to making it happen,” said Jackie Gustafson, director of IT applications at Nemours.
The Nemours health system was founded 70 years ago through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont and operates children’s hospitals and clinics in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Named among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report, Nemours offers pediatric specialties in cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, and pulmonology. Its nursing program has been granted Magnet status and the system was awarded Elite Distinction as one of 12 Leapfrog Group’s “Top Children’s Hospitals”. Also named a “Most Wired” hospital and health system, Nemours Center for Children’s Health Media is creator of KidsHealth.org, the #1 most-visited website for children’s health.
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