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Friday, February 24, 2006

VoIP "badges" for clinical staff

Cornwall NHS staff get VoIP phone badges

EHealth Insider has a story about Vocera system "badges" for staff at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust "worn around the neck on a lanyard, which can put any user in touch with another member of staff just by saying their name or department into a microphone."

This looks like a very useful innovation, and may help to address issues with mobile phone use, but the costs of wireless networks for hospitals with large sites may be prohibitive. I also worry about potential cross infection and health and safety risks. I would have liked to have one of these when I worked in A&E to enable me to answer the phone & consult a wide range of staff without having to go back to the office etc - but I used to advise all staff not to wear anything around their necks because of the potential risks when it is grabbed by a patient - I even got the doctors who insisted on wearing ties to use "clip-ons".

I also wonder whether the badges can be put through an autoclave if they get covered in blood/vomit etc?

Perhaps we will see one of these on every nurses' uniform in a few years?

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