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Ascom chosen to implement fully integrated IP nurse call solution to Benenden Hospital

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Ascom has further strengthened their position within the nurse call market by winning a contract to supply Benenden Hospital at Cranbrook, Kent, with a fully integrated IP solution.

The Solution has been based on Ascom’s decades of experience working within healthcare. Benenden Hospital provided a scope for the project which asked for a traditional nurse call solution, enabling a patient to use their bedside handset to press for help and a nurse to be alerted via over-door lights and at the nurse’s station.

Ascom have gone above and beyond the original scope and proposed an integrated and intelligent solution which will aim to enhance the hospital’s workflow. The solution will encompass Ascom’s teleCARE IP nurse call system powered by their intelligent middleware, Unite. Nurses will be provided Ascom i62 WiFi mobile devices and for those using smart phones, Ascom’s Axess app will be provided to receive patient alarms and alerts, wherever they may be.

“It was important for us that Benenden Hospital understood they could help keep their staff mobile and send information to them, wherever they were. Instead of nurses having to run to central point to see which patient needed help, we wanted them to know immediately. For Ascom, it’s all about working smarter and understanding that nurses are always on the move; having to go to a nurse’s station to find information or call someone makes their job harder.” James Webb, Ascom (UK) Ltd.

Ascom’s teleCARE IP system, consisting of a range of colour- and function-customisable push-buttons, will be flush-mounted in to Cableflow trunking. This will act as a point of call where nurses will have the ability to ask for further assistance, if needed. Patients will be able to call for help at the bedside using an Ascom patient handset or pull cord when in the bathroom area – all alarms immediately being sent to the caregiver. For easy visual identification, messages are colour-coded, highlighting not only the type of call but also the priority of the call.

“The hospital were impressed with Ascom’s ability to provide a fully integrated, end-to-end solution. A solution which they could pick and choose elements as well as customise components, such as colour of buttons, button functions and alarm tones.” James Webb.

One of the needs highlighted from Benenden Hospital was for a ‘nurse presence’ feature without the costly effort of implementing separate RFID tags. Ascom resolved this and will provide their Unite View software, enabling the hospital to visually identify the status of all patient alarms, at a glance. When an alarm is triggered, Unite View will show the priority of the alarm and once accepted, the person dealing with that alarm will also be shown. To add further clarification, this will again be priority colour-coded for easy identification.

“At Benenden we are always keen to look for new solutions and have been really pleased with the initial results and patient focus of using the Ascom system.” Claire Harley, Director of Patient Services, Benenden Hospital.

Benenden Hospital offers independent healthcare for members of Benenden Health, private patients and to some NHS patients through the Choose and Book system. The hospital works on a basis of assigning nurses to patients, so they can really provide a consistent level of care throughout the patient’s journey. Ascom’s Unite Assign software will allow them to allocate nurses to patients by the easy-to-use drag-and-drop software. With this, Benenden Hospital can ensure when a patient calls for assistance, their assigned nurse will be the one who receives this alert. If the assigned nurse is not available, the call can be automatically escalated, via Unite Assign, for a pre-defined team to respond – always ensuring the patient is at the heart of care.

“I have noticed a significant improvement in the response times for the nurse call alarms and it only alerts the necessary people required to respond to that particular need. It has also revolutionised the way in which we communicate through the handsets. As senior managers we are able to send messages and call each other instantly which avoids waiting time which would have historically happened waiting for bleep responses.” Phil Golding, Charge Nurse, Benenden Hospital.

Ascom’s solution has offered Benenden Hospital Trust a way to reduce alarm fatigue. Staff don’t need to be aware of every alarm, only theirs. This will help them streamline their workflow and save time, allowing nurses to focus on the patients assigned to them and thereby providing better care. Ascom has really been able to provide a future proof solution which the hospital wishes to integrate with the fire, maintenance and other business management system alarms.

“From an IT perspective we have worked with Ascom to future proof the technology and to consolidate solutions and suppliers. We now have one solution for nurse call and internal messaging, replacing a legacy paging system with functionally rich handsets that provide enhanced messaging and direct calling through integration with our telephone system.” Gill Howgate, IT Manager, Benenden Hospital.