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Nurse Call Systems & Solutions

Nurse Call Systems & Solutions

Nurse call solutions

Modern Nurse Call Systems Directly Link Patients & Caregivers

Nurse call systems (NCS) allow patients to call or contact their nurse or nurse’s station quickly and easily. Some also allow staff to communicate with each other and have integrated staff and equipment locator options.

Initially created to alert nurses of a patient’s need, they have evolved into complex communication platforms that are the communication lifeline for patients and their families. However, legacy nurse call systems do present some modern-day challenges.

While nurse call systems may seem fairly easy to understand, several interoperable components create complexities that need to be installed by a knowledgeable team of experts. Below are the details you need to know.

Nurse Call System Functionality

Nurse call system functionalityTraditional NCSs are built around a hospital unit consisting of a cluster of beds occupied by patients on the same floor. Each of these units has its own nurses’ station, staffed by nurses caring for patients in their unit.

A console in the nurses’ station allows the staff to monitor these patients. When a patient pushes their call button, dome lights and chimes are used to visually and audibly alert staff of the event from the room. Simultaneously, the console receives a signal at the nurses’ station. The software-based solution on the console allows a unit clerk or nurse to view the request, speak with the patient via a full-duplex audio connection to the room, and instantly route the request to the relevant caregiver or service provider on their mobile device.

For more serious needs, such as codes or alarms emanating from medical devices, the standard workflows are overridden, and notifications are broadcast to all care team members. Reporting can be accessed in real-time to monitor operator and caregiver responsiveness, fulfillment times, rounding compliance, and other KPIs of patient satisfaction.

NCS and Critical Alert Together Offer Nurse Call Systems

Our industry-specific approach to customer needs requires a best-in-class partner and platform designed for each unique industry. We have partnered with Critical Alert, a trusted source for innovative Nurse Call Systems to meet this need. Critical Alert has developed an innovative real-world solution that optimizes hospital, health, and clinical communications and workflow.

  • Virtualize the nurse call systemCritical Alert allows hospitals to custom configure nurse call workflows at the individual unit level, delivering unparalleled flexibility at a fraction of the cost and IT footprint, all while remaining UL compliant.
  • UntitledStreamline communications, soften the impact of clinical interruptions, and provide robust workflow reporting. We natively integrate the nurse call system with industry-leading wireless clinical communications devices, smartphones, real-time locating systems (RTLS), and additional applications and systems. This integration streamlines clinical communications between patients and staff, softens the impact of clinical interruptions, and provides a more robust workflow reporting platform.
  • 2-way native integrations with TigerConnect and smartphone developers, including Cisco, Spectralink, Vocera, PatientSafe, Voalte, TellMedic, and Mobile Heartbeat, allow nurses to escalate requests to the available care team members when engaged with a patient.
  • Reduce TCO by eliminating middleware and its associated expenses: servers, licenses, implementation, support, and maintenance.
  • UntitledMore data, better outcomes – Get end-to-end visibility of the entire nurse call workflow, from initial call or alert, notification and dispatch of staff, time in the room, and fulfillment—insight into the factors that ultimately impact HCAHPS scoring.
  • Robust analytics – identify and trend the most direct factors addressed in patient satisfaction surveys: nurse responsiveness, noise at night, pain management, and patient discharge efficiency.

The benefits not only work for IT and management teams but also with Critical Alert Nurse Call Systems. Staff can triage nurse call alerts with centralized communication and staff deployment and reduce false-positive physiologic alarms to avoid unnecessary interruption of RNs engaged with patients, freeing up time for the most urgent needs.

Nurse Call Hardware

The nurse call hardware is designed with the end-user in mind: Simple to use, accessible to service, and highly reliable. Costs are also kept low by placing nurse call intelligence in the data center and not in the hardware. By intentionally engineering the hardware “dumb,” upgrades don’t require an entire construction project.

The solution includes a modular hardware/software solution for healthcare communications, alerts, and automation, including:

Pillow Speaker
Central Terminal
Dome Lights
Patient & Staff Stations
Code & Emergency Pulls
Remote Monitor Receptacle
Pillow Speaker

Pillow speaker

FDA listed, combining nurse call and environmental controls (TV, blinds and lighting) in a sturdy, easy-to-use form factor. Sealed design aids infection-control.

Central Terminal

Cat hardware nurse terminal

UL listed nurse call terminal and centralized caregiver interface, featuring touch controls, two-way audio (phone), multiple mounting options and available in different sizes.

Dome Lights

Dome lights

Corridor dome lights, located above patients door provide visual indication of alerts/codes. Zone dome lights, placed at entrances to zones assist staff in way-finding alarming room locations in more expansive architectural layouts.

Patient & Staff Stations

Patient and staff stationsTwo-way full duplex digital voice communication and call signaling for staff and patient areas. Attach external devices: pillow speakers, code/emergency/bath switches, bed/chair/interlock alarms, dome lights, RTLS receivers, environmental controls.

Code & Emergency Pulls

Code and emergency pull stationsUsed to annunciate a emergency and code blue calls from critical areas such as ICU, CCU, or any other location. Stand-alone switches can work with or without a connected patient station.

Remote Monitor Receptacle

Remote monitorsProviding input of remote monitoring devices such as: infusion pumps (IV), ventilators, heart monitors, chair pressure pads, etc. Should the connected device trigger an alert, notification can be sent to nurse terminal or mobile caregiver via smartphone.

We also carry head-end equipment and behavioral health hardware.

For more information on this platform and related equipment, download the brochure.

The NCS Approach to Customer Challenges

We approach each client with their goals in mind. This includes ensuring our systems are completed with the highest possible quality and utilizing our in-house team of network designers and installers. NCS has one of the largest installation teams in the industry and can provide the highest levels of control over quality and speed than our competition.

If you are looking to design the ideal nurse call system for your facility, our expertise and technology partnerships make us a leading provider for the health care industry. NCS can design, install, maintain, test, and repair your nurse call system.

As a client, you can be assured of quality and post-install support with service technicians on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to respond quickly to your emergency. To initiate a repair or service ticket, email our service department at or call our Service Manager at 281-484-1777 and provide a summary of the service needed.

Contact Us

Get more time with your patients, prevent notification fatigue, manage workflows and get high patient satisfaction with a unified nurse call system from NCS and Critical Alert. Contact us today for more information and a quote.

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