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Vocera: Improving patient experience and staff communications at UHNM

A hands-free device which allows staff to instantly contact each other remotely is improving patient flow and care at University Hospitals of North Midlands thanks to the Denise Coates Foundation.

Funded as part of a grant to UHNM Charity to support the hospitals’ response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Vocera system is worn on the front of a uniform as a badge and works by using the hospital’s WiFi to give staff instant voice communication with each other.

It is currently in use in emergency department at Royal Stoke University Hospital helping with improved patient flow, patient safety and satisfaction and will also be rolled at the emergency department in County Hospital, Stafford and the Critical Care Unit at Royal Stoke.

Using voice commands, Vocera can be used to help with tasks such as dialling a phone number, receiving a call, playing voice messages, setting reminders or messaging a group of users.

Michelle Le’Queux, Business Manager in emergency medicine, said: “Vocera has been very successful – it’s allowing staff to instantly communicate with each other to provide the best patient care.

“It has removed the need to use desk phones or pagers because Vocera is immediate. If a staff member is wearing a device then they can be contacted.

“Previously, a delay of even a few minutes could lead to frustration for staff and for patients.

“Staff including doctors, nurses and porters can contact each other instantly either by name or role. It is very simple to use and very effective.”

Dr Brijesh Patel, consultant in emergency medicine said: “The Vocera device, which comes as a hands free badge, has been a fantastic innovation for the department.

“It makes contacting colleagues quicker and more efficient. By using the device we can instantly get in contact with a specific person rather than using the emergency buzzer which traditionally provides an all or nothing response which means care for our patients can be co-ordinated and provided quicker.

He added: “Due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic more patients are being treated in newly built closed rooms to help limit the spread of the virus during high risk procedures. Vocera places clinicians in ear shot of other device users immediately even if behind closed doors.

“The devices can be worn under personal protection equipment and give staff access to clear, secure hands free communications channel that keeps staff safer and helps provide high quality patient care.”

Lisa Thomson, Director of UHNM Charity, said: “We are hugely grateful to the Denise Coates Foundation for its generous support since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and we are delighted that schemes such as the rollout of Vocera are helping contribute to speedier and safer care in our emergency department.

“This scheme is just one of the many projects which is now benefiting patient care and experience thanks to the Foundation’s donation.”

If you would like to fundraise for UHNM Charity visit for more information, or call 01782 676444 to speak to one of the UHNM Charity team.

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