Hospitals and Nursing Homes
Nurse call systems are required in hospitals and convalescent, rehabilitation and nursing centers licensed for acute and skilled care. It is important for nursing staff to know when a patient needs help whether they cannot do something for themselves or have entered into an emergency situation. For the quickest response, a wireless system can be used to send the alarm information to the nurse assigned to the room or wing almost instantly. Quick response based on instantaneous information can save a life or prevent bodily injury. Alarm escalation ensures that the system sends the alarm to a wider group of staff until answered by cancelling the alarm at the originating station.
Most states require corridor dome lights above the patient room in these care levels to identify the patient requiring assistance with an emergency light indication for bathroom calls and a routine light indication for bedside patient station calls. Many states also require that the nurse call system be certified or listed for UL1069 “Hospital Signaling and Nurse Call Systems”. Some states will allow skilled care licensed facilities to substitute staff pocket pager notification for corridor dome lights which is both more immediate and more cost effective even if code states that corridor lights are required. A variance for the substitution can be obtained from the State Department of Health.
Assisted living centers are not required to install corridor dome lights although some communities prefer to use them for staff notification. Most states require that call station be installed at the resident bedside and bathroom. Wireless call stations are more convenient, easier to install, quick to change from one side of the room to the other to suit resident furnishings and much more cost effective. Many states now allow personal pendant transmitters to be used in place of wall mounted pull stations. Pendant and wrist transmitters are more convenient for residents and the community that has them available is better able to market their services and win business from the growing senior population.
Senior Independent Living
While typically not required to provide an emergency call system, most senior living communities want their residents to have the safety and security of knowing that staff is only a button push away. Whether the community is a small building or villas and high rise apartments scattered over a hundred acres, wireless emergency call can cover the resident population with a safety net. Wireless security devices such as smoke detectors, motion, glassbreak, water and door/window monitors help seniors feel secure in their homes. The system can send security alerts to the security team and healthcare alerts from pendants and pull stations to the nursing or management staff with escalation until answered. Either way, the resident knows that help is on the way.
All doctors are aware that time is money and using a nurse call system saves both. A wireless call station with one or more push buttons can be placed on the wall convenient for the doctor to press a button to summon a nursing assistant. Some offices prefer to have an additional button to signal that the patient is ready to see the doctor and another to signal that the room needs to be cleaned. This action can light a dome light over the door, appear on a desktop console, or display on readerboards or monitors. This instant signaling prevents the need to search for staff and moves patients in and out of the clinic much faster.
Small transmitters or panic buttons can be mounted under counseling desks or chairs. If a mental health professional feels uncomfortable or threatened, pressing the button notifies all staff that intervention is required. If the alarm event continues without being canceled security or 911 can be notified. Staff is typically notified via vibrating pocket pager but many other options are available. If pocket pagers are selected then a wireless multi-button console can be placed at the front desk to notify counselors when a patient arrives. A simple press of the button sends a message to the counselor’s pager. When they arrive in the lobby to escort the patient they can press the button again to cancel the message. If the mental health facility is a locked facility additional features included vandal proof call stations for patient rooms and panic buttons that transmit nursing staff location with the alarm message.
There are a myriad of ways in which wireless emergency call systems are used. From prisons to post offices, from businesses to schools and colleges, from power stations to airports, anywhere people need to signal that help is needed whether in a building or on a campus is an application for wireless emergency call systems. Whether for personal safety or for instant signaling, wireless call systems can benefit a wide variety of applications.