Vocera Badge and Vocera Smartbadge are two hands-free communication devices New York City clinicians, including doctors and nurses with direct contact with Covid-19 patients, safely talk to one another. These wearable, intercom-like devices can be attached under a gown and heard through a mask. Vocera’s devices save time and decrease risk for clinicians who want to avoid removal of personal protective equipment (PPE).
“With the Badge and Smartbadge, clinicians do not need to worry about remembering names, phone numbers, or who is on call. The intelligent mobile devices route calls and alert notifications directly to the right clinician or team. (The devices’ actions are) based on staff assignments and customizable workflow rules. (Vocera’s devices) improve response times, patient care, and safety,” said Dave Lively, vice president of product management for Vocera.
Vocera products can be found in over 50 healthcare facilities in New York state. Both devices look like a small cell phone without a keypad. The primary difference between the two is the Smartbadge has a larger touchscreen. More space means more information in a notification. For example, a notification on a Smartbadge could include not only a patient’s room number, but also the patient’s name, age, and vital signs.
One significant way that Vocera has proved useful is by keeping doctors and nurses transferred to unfamiliar departments and floors in touch.
“Providing care teams with an easy and safe way to connect and communicate with the right people by simply saying a patient room number, role or group goes a long way. (That minimizes) some of the stress and cognitive burden clinicians have had to endure in unknown environments,” Lively said.
Dr. Brandon Godbout, vice chair of emergency medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, said the value of the Vocera Badge has significantly increased during the pandemic.
“The ability to send and receive critical information like lab values, radiographic findings (like X-rays), and medication plans allowed for efficient, high-quality medical decision-making without the need to doff personal protective equipment,” said Godbout.
Godbout said it could be argued that Vocera Badges have contributed to the impressive outcomes Lenox Hill Hospital has realized and continues to realize during the pandemic.
“Specific to our emergency department operations, we use these devices to deliver hands-free translation services, integrate with our patient tracking systems to alert receiving units, and reduce the amount of time spent searching for team members to hand-off time sensitive patient data. Additionally, antimicrobial properties of the Vocera Badge clearly made its use attractive. (It’s) preferred over other telecommunication modalities to prevent cross-contamination of surfaces and infection transmission to the many healthcare heroes at Lenox Hill Hospital throughout the pandemic,” Godbout said.