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Role of Wireless Communication in Patient Response Time: A Study of Vocera Integration with a Nurse Call System



The goal of this paper is to investigate the use and impact of wireless Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communication technology developed by Vocera communications and used by clinicians and mobile workers in a healthcare setting. Of particular interest for this study was the impact of a newly installed component of the Vocera system, the Vocera Messaging Interface (VMI), which enables connectivity between external systems and the Vocera system via the Vocera Server. We focused on a specific VMI application used in the healthcare industry that directly integrates Vocera with Nurse Call Systems. In this Vocera Nurse Call Integration (NCI) application, bedside calls from patients using the hospital’s Nurse Call System trigger messages that are sent directly to the primary care giver. Primary care givers can read or play messages and either speak a command or respond to the call to the patient’s pillow speaker via the PBX/Nurse Call system. The primary objectives of the paper were to measure the effect of using NCI on response times to patient requests and to analyze qualitatively the benefits of using the Vocera Solution.
This paper focused specifically on communication between caregivers and patients. This data gives the relationship between integrating the Nurse Call System with the Vocera System and the time required for a caregiver to respond to a patient request. In addition to this, a qualitative analysis of the use of the system for clinician-to-clinician and clinician-to-external communication outside of the Vocera NCI use is conducted.
In June 2005, the Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS) was contracted to conduct a research study at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland by Vocera Communications, Cupertino, California. St. Agnes purchased the Vocera Communications System in 2003 and has been deploying it in stages in terms of functionality and units since that time. It is currently deployed in a variety of units and is used by many types of clinicians and staff members, including but not limited to nurses, administrative staff, technicians, and physicians. Vocera and St. Agnes, with assistance from an independent consulting group, conducted a ‘Benefits Study’ in December of 2003. This study yielded important findings related to the time savings and financial benefits resulting from the implementation of the core Vocera system. However, this study did not examine the impact of the Nurse-Call or PBX integration. The study conducted by CHIDS investigates two phenomena: Vocera Nurse-Call Integration system (NCI) and non-NCI utilization.

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