State-Of-The-Art Nurse Call System
The Massachusetts Senior Care Association selected Park Avenue Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to participate in its Clinical Innovations Program at the Annual Meeting and Trade Show held on November 13, 2008 at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA. Our presentation was entitled “A State-Of-The-Art Nurse Call System”.
A common patient complaint in health care settings today is the length of time it takes for staff to respond to a call light. Most facilities maintain nurse call systems to provide for the care, comfort and safety of its residents. Call lights activated by either a pull cord or push button are located in all patient rooms and in other areas of the building where residents spend time.
Park Avenue considered a number of audible nurse call systems and chose the Rauland Responder 4000 which was installed in June 2005. The facility selected this system because of the presence of local support, a state-of-the-art software program that records all response times, and the availability of many versatile features. Even though a nurse can communicate from the
nursing station with the patient via a wall speaker in the room, the system requires a staff person to go to the point of activation to reset the call light system. A three-color light indicator over each patient room door – for a normal call, a bathroom call, or a bed alarm alert – was selected for our facility.
Reports on all call activations and response times are recorded and reviewed daily. If a particular resident is making frequent calls, it may indicate the need for nursing and physician assessment and intervention (i.e., the resident lacks adequate pain control, may have a urinary tract infection, or perhaps just needs a little extra attention and TLC). The system allows us to quickly identify situations where response time was too slow and address those in a timely manner. The data can be accessed by unit, for the entire facility, or by individual rooms and beds. This feature is helpful when reassuring residents/family members that call lights are answered timely.
When the new nurse call system was installed in 2005, the facility’s average response time was more than four minutes in duration. We are pleased to report that the facility’s average response time is only slightly more than two minutes! Our overall goal is to respond to call lights within two minutes.