Mobile handsets improve response and patient safety

Thousands of staff are giving safer, more efficient care to patients at 19 hospital sites in North East Scotland, says Ascom UK, thanks to the deployment of its mobile handsets and messaging software, which have enabled medical personnel to stop using ‘old-fashioned’ pagers for all but emergency communication.

Ascom explained: “The i62 voice over Wi-Fi handsets and messaging software enable nearly 4,000 staff within NHS Grampian to communicate vital patient information to each other within seconds, rather than having to find a landline to respond to pagers.” Clinicians say the handsets are enabling immediate notification of urgent referrals and helping improve patient care. Senior IT managers have hailed the ‘100% successful integration’ of the Ascom technology with third-party applications including Intersystems’ TrakCare electronic patient records, the Ensemble integration and data platform, and the nurse call system on the Foresterhill Health Campus – home to the region’s largest acute hospital, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. 

Dr John Thomson, consultant gastroenterologist, said: “Besides the advantages of using a handheld rather than an old-fashioned ‘bleep’, Ascom’s integration with the health board’s other technology has improved the order of workflow and data quality by enabling immediate notification of urgent inpatient referrals. Before Ascom we had just one stream of inpatient referrals – a phone call (via pagers) at a time that may have not been convenient to the on-call team. Now we have three: ‘immediately lifethreatening’, ‘urgent’, and ‘routine’, resulting in workflow efficiencies, and improved patient safety and clinical governance of the referrals and subsequent clinical actions.”