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A MODERN APPROACH TO THE NURSE CALL SYSTEM.

Senior living communities, especially nursing homes rely on nurse/aide call systems to alert staff to resident emergencies and requests for assistance. See how 4Call enhanced the caregiver and patient interactions.

Nurse Call Systems are wearable or bedside call buttons and/or wall-mounted pull cords, both of which are designed to bring nurses to a room or talk to the resident via a speaker. Since 2011, 4Call has been one of the leading distributors/installers of these systems.

How They Challenged Us.

Until 2011, alerts were sent via pagers or to callboards at nurse/aide stations. With the development of Smartphones and other new technologies, 4Call saw an opportunity to enhance their nurse call system. They were aware that the system had shortfalls and also very much aware that starting from scratch was not an option. Installing completely new systems was cost-prohibitive.
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4Call challenged Solvative to identify key weaknesses and then develop middleware that would not only solve for those weaknesses, but also position the new system to work with emerging 21st century wireless technologies like Alexa and Google Home.

Our Discovery Process

The Solvative team shadowed key staff at two facilities to observe the system in action and identify its pain points. We watched how 4Call was used by nurses and residents, checked out installations, and talked to both staff and residents—all to get a feel for how the current 4Call system worked technically and function-wise.

It didn’t take long to identify four key weaknesses:

How We Built a Better Nurse Call System.

Solvative’s solution was to develop middleware that was both economical and future-proof. Our team created a software platform that works with existing hardware, so installation is fast and simple. Part of containing costs also meant configuring the new software to work with existing devices. The old pagers were retired and replaced with iPhones.

For optimum flexibility, we designed the platform to work seamlessly with both earlier generation and new generation versions—this would allow a community to invest in a fleet of inexpensive iPhones for staff use and also allow nurses and aides to utilize the middleware from their own iPhones and/or tablets. They simply install the app and they’re ready to go to work. In fact, studies show that communities with new technology in place report a more stable staff population.

THE RESULTS.

Solvative’s new 4Call middleware solved all four weaknesses in the old system—and then some:
Data capture and retrieval capability – Easy data input resulting in valuable analytics for administrative use and information that can be easily found and shared with resident families; it also puts critical medical details at staff’s fingertips in order to provide most informed care.
Connect from anywhere – We eliminated range issues by building in fully functional VoiP which allows communications anywhere inside or outside the building.
Two-way chat capability – Pagers only allowed for one-way communications. Because the new middleware is iPhone-based, it allows immediate communications between staff and also with residents.
Intuitive screen features – Bringing new staff up to speed is no longer a challenge. The new 4Call mirrors many familiar iPhone functions, so ramp up is simple and fast.
Immediate alert function – Alerts come into the user’s iPhone immediately, and work much like familiar text messaging. User response is equally fast.
Virtually no downtime – Should there ever be issues with internet service, a hardware backup system will take over to continue seamless operations.

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