'Communicator Badges' Improve Hospital Care

By Michelle
May 31, 2007 - 9:04 PM

Badges that resemble and work like Star Trek communicators are being used to advance patient care at hospitals in Canada, powered by mobile communications technology developed by Vocera Communications and networked by IBM.

Yahoo! reported that the communicator badges, which give medical workers instant voice communication with one another, can relay alerts and text messages so doctors, nurses and technicians can keep their hands free. IBM has signed five contracts to create secure wireless networks in emergency and critical care areas of hospitals.

"I don't think I have ever seen a group of nurses take to a new work tool so enthusiastically," said Kingston General Hospital's Ann Gay, who is in charge of the project where the system is being used in surgical wards. "By working with IBM we believe this new technology tool can offer an important advantage, one that lets our staff spend more time caring for patients."

Another Ontario hospital, St. Thomas Elgin General, as well as Interior Health in British Columbia and others, will continue to evaluate the equipment. St. Thomas Elgin General tested the devices in the Family and Maternal Care and Coronary/Intensive Care units and found that staff rated it well on increased communication and security.

The original article is here.

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