Alert system promises to cut workload for nurses whilst improving patient safety.
A program designed to allow nurses to communicate with patients more efficiently could be implemented in hospitals this year.
When the computer program, called patient focused care, completes development, Gold Coast University Hospital plans to use it to combat nurse fatigue, lower the nurses’ workload in general and improve patient safety.
“As we’ve moved to a larger facility it means more walking for the nursing staff. [This program will allow] nursing staff to communicate with the patient more efficiently,” says Simone Page, clinical facilitator for orthopaedics at GCUH.
Under the system, nursing staff would receive a message on their phone alerting them to the fact their patient’s buzzer has gone off. The nurse can then call the patient. Alternatively, patients can call the staff member as opposed to using the buzzer. Nurses would designate which beds their phones would be allocated to at the start of each shift.
Page says patient focused care allows for nurses to take quicker action, explaining that if a nurse were in the kitchen and a patient needed water, the nurse would normally need to return to the room, discover what the patient needed, then return to the kitchen. The new technology would bypass unnecessary steps.
The system will let patients better communicate with the nursing staff and allow them to remain aware of their nurses’ positions within the hospital. Patients will also be able to understand how long it will be before their request is tended to.
The system is designed to allow issues to be dealt with immediately if necessary, which is particularly beneficial when it comes to emergencies.
“If nursing staff members are in with another patient, they can answer their phone straight away, as opposed to having to wait five to 10 minutes to sort the patient out that they’re currently with,” she said, adding that those five to 10 minutes can make a big difference.Do you have an idea for a story?
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