Boca Raton, Fla. – Emergin, a Philips Healthcare company, announced today the availability of an interface between the Emergin alert management platform and the Voalté communication server to deliver alert message notifications from Emergin to the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch devices. This integration facilitates the orchestration of voice, alert, and text communications by leveraging the flexibility of the Apple platform.
Voalté One is a unified communications solution enabling phone calls across the hospital VoIP system, text messaging via the user directory and user-friendly alert management through Emergin’s interface adapter. Through this interface, caregivers can receive and respond to alert messages dispatched by Emergin from an increasing array of input data systems and devices within the hospital.
Two-way output integrations with the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch have been implemented at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, FL and Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, CA respectively.
"Traditional communication methods, such as pagers, were not working for the hospital’s caregivers," said Ron Rutherford, RN, director of informatics at Huntington Hospital. "We were in need of greater flexibility for accessing important information."
"We were using antiquated pagers to receive alerts from our Philips patient monitors," said Eunie Lee, RN at Huntington Hospital. "The pagers were slow and information was difficult to understand. Now we have clear, up-to-date notifications right at our fingertips."
After an onsite workflow analysis, Voalté worked with Huntington Hospital and Emergin to design an implementation plan to facilitate more effective communication among nurses and other caregivers. The initial implementation phase focused on replacing the pager with the iPod Touch which was then integrated to Philips monitoring through an Emergin Patient Monitoring Gateway. Low and high priority ringtones were assigned to yellow and red alerts to automatically notify caregivers to the level of importance for the message.
The Emergin/Voalté solution then enabled "quick messaging" on the iPod Touch to facilitate real-time communication between caregivers.
"The text messaging feature enables me to better prioritize my tasks and communicate more efficiently with my coworkers," added Lee.
The results from implementation of the Emergin/Voalté solution at Huntington Hospital show a dramatic reduction in the number of phone calls made per shift and improved Press Ganey scores for the unit in the two categories, "noise in and around the room" and "response time to call bell."
At Sarasota Memorial Hospital, hospital rooms and halls are a lot quieter as a result of the Emergin/Voalté integration with iPhones, which has significantly reduced overhead paging. After Sarasota’s implementation of the Emergin/Voalté solution, overhead paging frequency was reduced by 78%.
Following the success of the Emergin/Voalté integration at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Huntington Hospital has initiated a project to replace legacy phones with iPhones and extend the Emergin/Voalté solution to the hospital’s in-house phone system. Huntington clinical staff will have voice, alert and text communications on one device. Phone numbers will automatically link to user names and each user will retain the same extension, regardless of device, further optimizing communications.
The Emergin alert management solution integrates to a broad suite of input medical devices, nurse call systems, and output communication devices.