'Star Trek' Technology On The Way - Part II

By T'Bonz
May 5, 2008 - 4:23 AM

A tap of the button lets healthcare professionals contact each other due to a new communications system.

As reported by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, instant communication by way of the Vocera badge is convenient and quicker for hospital personnel than the usual beepers or phones.

A wireless voice communications system called the Vocera allows healthcare professionals to instantly contact to one another with a tap of a button. The device is hands-free and can be clipped onto a uniform or hung from a lanyard. It has two components: the voice-controlled badge which operates via a wireless system and a software package which controls and manages the call activity.

The badge is easy to use. "You just have to learn the commands and which buttons to use," said voice communications manager Dave Watson, "It's very user-friendly."

The hospital using Vocera has also given the badges to family members of surgery patients, freeing the family from having to stay in one room while awaiting word on surgical outcomes. They need only stay on hospital grounds and can be summoned or be given information via the badge no matter where they are. Thus far, seventy families have used the system in this manner. "They love it," said Barb Stoltz, manager of the outpatient surgery unit.

Already, the badge has made for a quieter workplace, cutting down on the four thousand overhead pages and two thousand beepers that the hospital counted each month. The decrease in noise makes for a more restful stay for patients.

To read more, head to the article located here.

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