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Study: Incompatible Communication Solutions Burden Nurses

December 8, 2009
by root
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Incompatible communications solutions are making it difficult for hospital-based nurses to effectively communicate with patients and collaborate with care team members, according to a study by Menlo Park, Calif.-based Spyglass Consulting Group.

Hospitals are purchasing solutions from different vendors requiring different mobile handsets that operate over different wireless frequencies, says the report, entitled “Point of Care Communications for Nursing.” As a result, nurses must carry multiple devices to address specific job functions, and critical messages, non-critical messages and spam are frequently interspersed. This, says the report, makes it difficult to filter, manage and prioritize communications from team members.

More findings from the study are as follows:

  • 71 percent of hospital-based nurses indicated their wireless networks were poorly designed resulting in coverage gaps, wireless interference, and overloaded access points;
  • 66 percent reported their organizations had deployed VoIP-based communications to provide greater mobility to perform their jobs more effectively at point of care;
  • Hospital-based nurses thought VoIP communications can be disruptive at point of care for those who receive phone calls from team members while performing procedures or treatments;
  • Nurses interviewed believe successful point of care deployments require nursing involvement during the design phases of the IT project.
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