If you have ever been a hospital patient, no doubt you have dealt with the frustration of waiting for care as nurses and doctors make the rounds. Now, a direct line is instantly connecting patients to personalized care.
A nurse's first name and her identification number - that is all a patient at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital has to have to directly connect to the assigned nurse. Patient Laura Captains says the phone call was simple, "She picks up and I can call directly and talk to her and let her know what I need."
This is not Captain's first hospital stay. She is quite familiar with what felt like a slow-moving communications chain in the past - using the bedside call button to the nurses' station. "I would call and they would say 'okay, I'll let your nurse know,' and then you wait for a while and you wait and you wait until they finally get in touch with your nurse."
The now implemented Responder 5 nurse call system is taking away the middleman - connecting patient to nurse. LCMH nurse manager Joan George says, "They can tell them whatever they need right away. The nurse can ask them questions in a confidential manner and be able to reduce steps in providing care to that patient."
The caller ID shows which patient is calling. "When the call comes in, I can see patient room 719 and I know who's calling," said one of the nurses.
If a doctor is needed, the nurse has a direct call line. "The nurse can actually from the patient's room communicate to the physician so the patient knows the nurse is doing everything they can to help them," said George.
Phase two will involve a color-lighted system above each patient door, letting the hospital staff know if the room is clean and ready to go. There will also be a colored light indicating if the patient inside is at risk of falling. "A communication system is not just communicating with a patient and a nurse," said George, "it is throughout the entire hospital on the patient's care."
Now, that care can be given more quickly - eliminating extra steps and easing patient comfort. "It's more comfortable," said Captain, "and much easier, more satisfying."
The Responder 5 system is used in 40 countries around the world and installed at more than one million hospital beds.
Phase two of the system with the colored overhead door lights starts next week at LCMH.