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NURSE CALL SYSTEMS Phil Wade – Static Systems Group

Standards, design and technology

This article focuses on the issues impacting hospital design and management and how technology can be utilised. It goes on to explain the growing use of IP for nurse call systems and their application in a range of different scenarios — from refurbishment projects to new build schemes.

It is first worthy of note that the Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 08-03: Bedhead Services is the standard reference document used throughout the UK and other worldwide territories for nurse call systems. It is part of a series of documents published by the Department of Health in the UK, which gives guidance on all aspects of the design, build and operation of healthcare buildings. Recognising that practise and technology

are continually changing and developing, it is interesting to note that the current HTM 08- 03 is less prescriptive than previous versions. This is evident by the inclusion of words such as; ‘typical’ and ‘best practice’ rather than ‘must’ or ‘shall.’ This less prescriptive nature can, however,

present difficulties to users and those involved in specifying systems and it is the responsibility of nurse call manufactures to not simply ‘up-sell’ technology, but rather to engage with all interested parties to fully understand requirements and then recommend appropriate solutions. Key factors and drivers that currently

impact hospital design and nursing management and how nurse call systems can

assist include: Single bed wards – In common with many other international territories there is a

The need for patient privacy, dignity, and better control of infection are very strong drivers for single bed rooms.

IFHE DIGEST 2015 Linking nurse call to a mobile VoIP phone brings real efficiency.

growing trend and requirement in the UK for single bed accommodation. While there are many benefits with single rooms there are also a number of negative factors which arise. The need for patient privacy, dignity, and

better control of infection are very strong drivers for single bed rooms. However, patients in single bed wards can often feel isolated. By providing nurse call with speech facilities patients and staff are able to talk together. The nurse is able to reassure patients that they have received their call and also quickly assess whether an urgent response is required. Linking the nurse call facility to

a mobile VoIP phone offers real efficiencies. Calls can be routed to a specific nursing team. The call can then be dealt with without the need to return to the staff base. Nursing in single wards can also

be helped by the introduction of a nurse presence system. These are in common use in European hospitals. Nowadays it is likely to be an automatic system. Staff members wear badges that transmit to sensors in the rooms. By linking this to over door lamps outside the

rooms and to nurse base indicators, staff can quickly locate their colleagues. The systems will also record events, very useful, in case of complaint or investigation, by being able to

evidence staff attendance at the bedside. Patient experience – Healthcare

providers are now very much focussed on the overall patient experience. An important factor here is to give patients the ability to


Phil Wade, Director of Marketing, has been employed by Static Systems for over 37 years. He started his career with the company as a technician apprentice and went on to work as a project planning engineer. Subsequently he became a service and commissioning engineer before moving into sales and marketing. He has been on the main board of directors for 14 years.

During this time he has been involved with many projects including a number of high profile overseas and UK based PFI schemes, as well as numerous developments such as the company’s Fusion-IP, bedhead services trunking and fire alarm range of products. In addition he has represented Static Systems on various industry related working parties including, recently, the ProCure21+ standardised components initiative. He has also been invited to present on the topic of nurse call and bedhead services at a variety of conferences and seminars.

He is an active member of IHEEM, serving on Council and as a member of the Conference Committee. He also represents exhibitors on the Healthcare Estates Exhibition Advisory Board.


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