Gartner: Is Nurse Call Necessary?

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There is a movement to transform nurse call from the legacy hardware based system we see today.  Gartner has dedicated several papers to the blue-ocean vision of transformation.  Currently, Barry Runyon’s thought provoking piece: Is Nurse Call Necessary? is available on our website for complimentary download.

Recently, someone challenged me on this concept – “ I get it, I am considered a nurse call expert…so the idea of “Is it necessary?” makes my skin crawl a bit.  I do think that it’s probably what Jeff Bezos asked when he looked at the bookstore….is it necessary or can I just order one on line and mail it?

Instead of thinking of it as the elimination of a product category (because I don’t think that is what he is suggesting in his paper) it should be viewed as an opportunity to evaluate how the patient communicates with the care team.  How are needs delivered from one location to another location? How can we create a better care environment? There is nothing wrong with thinking, nothing wrong with visioning, nothing wrong with creating? There is nothing wrong with asking – can it be done a better way. That’s how every great innovation starts.

Gartner is simply evaluating an environment that is limited by regulatory restriction, and are the regulations in place still necessary?

In the Gartner model the convergence of Clinical Collaboration (Voalte, MobileHeartbeats, Spok), Interactive Patient Care (Oneview, Sonifi), and Alerts and Notification Platforms (Connexall, Emergin, CareAware) will replace the need for some of the core functions of nurse call.

The vacancy that these platforms cannot replace is a fully stable and easy to access emergency level notifications from a patient’s room AND the ability to create an “always an answer” audible notification.   Regulations were created for a reason, and the questions we need to ask must include creating and maintaining a safe environment. Nurse Call is Life Safety. The mentioned platforms cannot meet the regulatory requirement of a “mandatory action”, one that creates visual and audible notification that multiple people can hear or see and requires entrance to a patient’s room to cancel the request.  There is currently intrinsic value to the wire in the wall. However, the “owned space” is shifting and the shift is the interesting conversation.

Over the next few weeks I will provide posts that present questions for hospitals to consider as they review the new world of Clinical Communications Strategy.  What questions do I ask CC&C provider? An A&N provider? Is the thought of using IPC in a real “Nurse Call” capacity a smart move? We will also include perspective from industry leaders on how vision can emerge. I encourage you to read Barry’s paper and reach out to Gartner for further research.

Download the paper using the link below.

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