Healthcare Essay Sample: Factors Affecting the Implementation of the Call Bell System

Published: 2022-04-05
Healthcare Essay Sample: Factors Affecting the Implementation of the Call Bell System
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Healthcare Healthcare policy
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1792 words
15 min read

Call bell systems are important instruments in the healthcare industry. Every medical institution should have a communication channel between the patient and the caregiver. The call bell system helps in patient satisfaction because a patient can call a nurse through the press of a button. Research states that prompt response to the call bell contributes to a comfortable stay at the hospital (Mojdeh et al., 2013). It is the role of the nurses to ensure that they respond to the patients' call fast in efforts of promoting patient-centered care delivery. However, some institutions suffer from a prolonged response to the call bell request. Delayed care frustrates the patients' stay at the hospital. Apart from that, it is important for a healthcare institution to research about the effectiveness of the call bell system before implementation. A feasibility study helps to establish the challenges that may affect the implementation of the call bell system.

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Technological Considerations

Technology is one of the limiting factors when it comes to the implementation of the call bell system. The call bells come in different designs. There are wired and wireless call bell systems. Choosing the right technology is a daunting task. Most manufacturers offer a biased opinion if asked on the best call bell system depending on their product. Each call bell system has its merits and demerits. Therefore, if a hospital facility needs to implement a call bell system in a new premise, a wired call bell system is the best solution. In a new building that is not occupied, the installation process is smooth without any distraction (Dewsbury & Dewsbury, 2017). However, installing a wired system in a hospital premise that is in operation is quite challenging. Cabling comes along with hassles and upheavals. It involves lifting carpet, drilling the walls or the ceiling to hide the cables for a neat installation. Therefore, a wired system requires a redecoration of the hospital facility. Apart from that, it would inconvenience patients because they should be given a different room during the installation process. Therefore, cabling could affect most of the hospital operations. On the other hand, a wireless system could offer some relief because it does not involve a lot of work and cabling. It only involves installation of the box units at strategic locations on the hospital's walls to ensure an effective signal transmission. In case of the modification of the hospital rooms, the wireless box unit needs to be relocated to a better location. However, the wireless system is limited by the need for constant maintenance. The system uses a battery that may need replacement every year and the installation of signal boosters in case of low signal in certain hospital rooms (Dewsbury & Dewsbury, 2017).

On the other hand, we live in the digital age where everyone is connected through smartphone technologies that have changed how people communicate. Smartphones and texting have replaced the traditional modes of communication that involved written communication and landlines. For instance, the code blue feature is the most common call bell system where a patient presses a button beside the wall and a sound message is relayed to a speaker at the nurses' station. The calls and response time can be documented for future analysis and decision making. On the other hand, the smartphone technology has created device dependency, especially among the youth. The communication landscape in the healthcare sector should integrate the texting platform and phones with the call bell system to promote peer to peer communication (Chuang et al., 2015).

Another important technological consideration is the rate at which the trend in technology is changing. The nurse call system operations and designs are also changing. Healthcare professionals should keep up with the technological advancement. Wearable devices have started flooding the market such as Fitbits and Apple Watch among others (Dewsbury & Dewsbury, 2017). A wearable device can be configured to communicate directly with the nurses. Besides, interoperable designs are gaining much attention in call bell systems than conventional systems. In alert systems, nurses need devices that can be integrated with other technologies like the real-time locating systems (RTLS), patient entertainment and education systems (Dewsbury & Dewsbury, 2017). A well-connected system would ensure efficiency in care-delivery directed towards a holistic care approach that improves patient satisfaction. In summation, technological considerations affect the implementation of the call bell system. It takes a lot of time to deliberate on the best technology that meets the needs of the hospital and patients. Moreover, there are other rival technologies like the call light system that rivals the call bell system. Therefore, a consultant is required to help a healthcare institution carry out research and install the most effective call bell system.

Institutional Structures

Institutional structures such as culture have a great influence on the implementation of the call bell system. According to a clinical study carried out by Chuang et al. (2015), almost 50% of nurses are over 50 years of age. Such nurses have always relied on their senses and experiences in delivering care to patients. The adoption of technology with the aim of improving patient satisfaction is quite challenging to the aged nurses. Such workforce is very traditional and highly resistant to change. For example, the use of smartphones, tablets, and computers have affected how such nurses perceive technology. Most of them lack little or no knowledge of how to operate smartphones. As a result, responding to patient calls via the call bell system is slow. On the other hand, most caregivers argue that the call bell system interrupts their productivity (Chuang et al., 2015). In most of the times, caregivers are assigned to different patients and should equally allocate their time and care. A call request from another patient could interrupt their care schedule of other patients. As a result, it takes a lot of time to respond to a request due to attention to other duties. Furthermore, some patients abuse the call bell system by requesting for assistance on certain small matters that may not need the intervention of the caregiver. Another aspect is that some patients do not understand the purpose of the bell system or the hospital procedures and the frequency of care. Therefore, their frequent use of the bell system may affect the ability of the assigned nurse to provide 100% care (Chuang et al., 2015).

Communication breakdown is also another factor that may limit the effectiveness of the call bell system. Once a patient requests for attention or care, the message is relayed to the nurses' station. The nurse on duty is immediately required to notify the assigned caregiver immediately. However, due to the attention to various duties, the nurse may forget or delay to relay information to the assigned caregiver. As a result, the patient waits for a long time before receiving care and may translate to low patient satisfaction. The call bell system aims at increasing the responsiveness of patient requests. The system requires nurses and caregivers to work as a team for efficient and quality care delivery. An organizational structure that does not promote teamwork may experience frequent communication breakdown and the untimely response to care (Galinato et al., 2016). Effective communication and interaction among the nursing staff are mandatory for quality care delivery that in turn leads to patient satisfaction. Also, the lack of proper handover between nursing shifts may frustrate the patient stay at a healthcare institution because they may feel neglected if their calls are not answered. Before the implementation of the call bell system, a healthcare organization should have policies that promote teamwork and cooperation. Also, nurse leaders should motivate nurses to initiate proper handover during shifts to ensure the smooth flow of operations. Otherwise, poor ratings from patients may interrupt future workflow.

Alternatively, healthcare organizations should use a centralized answering approach to call bell requests. A centralized center will fulltime dispatchers allows caregivers to receive call requests and respond to them appropriately without delay. According to a survey carried out in hospital facilities with fulltime bell system operators, the average time taken to respond to patients fell from 90 to 8 seconds (Dewsbury & Dewsbury, 2017). Therefore, with a centralized approach, caregivers can be paged precisely when an operator triage the communication leading to high patient satisfaction.

Financial Trends

It has become very challenging for hospitals to operate in the current climate facing the healthcare sector especially with regards to financial resources. It is tough to find the necessary monetary incentives to fund development and care quality incentives. The growing patient demand requires healthcare organizations to have more access to funding sources to keep up. Healthcare institutions are also faced with the problem of reducing costs while boosting service delivery. Besides, these organizations face the challenge of maintaining a workforce necessary to keep up with the growing demand. Most hospitals are under-staffed leading to a disproportional patient-nurse ratio due to financial constraints. As a result, hospitals lack the resources to balance between healthcare service delivery and project implementation. Installing a call bell system is an expensive project for every healthcare institution. Therefore, the management should make early plans and identify funding sources to sustain planned projects. Furthermore, a call bell system project requires hospitals to sign contracts with vendors that include both the installation and maintenance charges among other costs depending on the contract (Mojdeh et al., 2013). As such, financial resources affect the time it takes to implement the desired project. Low financial resources may lead to a poor delivery of a project that could lead to added costs in terms of repairs and maintenance. Therefore, financial resources are among the backbone of the healthcare organizations.

Hospital or Government Policy Constraints

Governments provide regulations regarding the installation, design, and operation of the call systems. Government policies also regulate the engineering technology used for delivery of healthcare services. As a result, hospitals are required to place the call button beside the bed to promote the patients' reach. Therefore, hospitals must ensure the flexibility of all alert systems. Government regulations require the call bell system to have an inbuilt flexibility both in software and hardware. Such constraints require healthcare organizations to invest financially to purchase the products that fall within the government regulations (Mojdeh et al., 2013).

Hospital constraints also affect the implementation of new projects. Resistance to change is one of the most proactive factors that limit hospital developments. Managing change, therefore, entails the handling the complex process. The healthcare professionals are trained to evade risks. Therefore, they are risk-averse and fear that new technologies and innovations are accompanied by risks. Nurses are rigid to change because they are accustomed to the traditional practices and behavior. Most healthcare policies do not promote flexibility in terms of accepting, evolving and adapting to change. Promoting the change process if a fatiguing and demanding process because it requires nurse leaders and managers to challenge the precedent. Chan...

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