Voice-activated nurse call alarm at Maidenhead hospice

Austco has installed its latest IP-based nurse call system, Tacera, in a form that incorporates a speech recognition feature – obviating the need for patients to press a button when they need help – at Thames Hospice's new facility near Maidenhead.

Having served its local community for over 30 years, the hospice is reportedly the only adult such facility providing both inpatient and community palliative and end-of-life care services across East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire. Its services are offered free to all who need them, ‘thanks to the generosity of the local community and organisations’. It costs £12 m every year to keep the hospice running, and it relies on charitable support for over 50 per cent of the funds needed annually to continue providing its services.

Austco initially installed the standard Tacera nurse call system as part of the construction of the new hospice near Bray, but when key hospice staff visited the demonstration facility at its Bromsgrove headquarters, they saw the speech recognition and entertainment feature in action and felt it a ‘must have’ for their patients. Austco said: “The buttons / handsets etc. are still there, but the convenience, particularly for those patients that may not have the strength to press a button, enables nurses to be alerted should the patient need them. All patients have to do is call out ‘Help, room XX’, with the room number they are in, and a call is raised on the nurse call system. The entertainment system interprets the command, and sends a signal to the nurse call component, the two systems working together so the source of the command is translated into an alarm from the correct room. The call appears on the system as if the patient had pressed the call button. On entering the room, the nurse presses the presence button to show they are in attendance, and can cancel the alarm from there. The Austco system also offers patients all its usual entertainment options in their room.”

Austco is currently working with Thames Hospice to see where else integrations and innovations can be used to improve even further on the levels of care offered.



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