Study: Mobile-Based Hospital Communication System Improves Care

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Replacing hospital communication systems that rely on phones and pagers with systems that use smartphones and tablets can reduce the length of stay for patients, according to a new study published in the journal BMJ Open, FierceMobileHealthcare reports.

About the System

For the study, researchers set up a new communication system at a teaching hospital in the United Kingdom.

The new system sends incoming calls through a single PC, which delivers them directly to physicians' tablets and smartphones. The new system involves about three steps, while the previous system used 10 or more steps.

Study Findings

According to the study, the new communication system:

  • Simplified the administration of in-house calls;
  • Reduced the length of stay for patients from 6.5 days to 5.6 days; and
  • Reduced the number of false alarms -- calls for patients who are sick but not actually experiencing a cardiac event -- from 17 to four during a two-month period.

The study also found that users of the new system said they liked its:

  • Ability to clearly rank messages by color to indicate priority; and
  • Clearly display when a physician completes a task, which had to be confirmed with phone calls under the previous system (Jackson, FierceMobileHealthcare, 4/10).

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