Ever been glued to your chair in front of a phone, waiting and wondering if your page was even seen? Perhaps you heard that incessant beep just as your favorite resident was ready to weave a new tale for you, and now a tender moment must wait for you to check the priority on the pager screen? In 1921, 100 years ago, the Detroit Police Department, which at the time lacked a proper way to communicate once deployed, developed the first pager-esque system. Once developed, pagers grew in popularity and ease of use until they found their way into healthcare, and have since remained the main method of communication in hospitals and in-patient care facilities. Its simplicity combined with the unshakable reliability of a wi-fi free network makes it the obvious choice for a place where the difference between a patient’s life and death hangs in the balance daily, but it is not without its vices. In more ways than one, the archaic interface of a pager can interrupt or slow down the steady flow of a busy day. That’s where Sure-Response’s RIS (Radio Integration System™) comes in.
Something Old, Something New
The goal with the Sure-Response’s RIS™ is not to replace an existing nurse call system, but to enhance the delivery and response experience. To put it simply, neither the pager input nor the information gathered from the page changes, just the delivery method. With RIS™, pages will be sent to a two-way radio clipped to your side, just like the pager was. Depending on the walkie-talkie you have, you will either hear a text-to-speech version of the page through your earpiece (sold separately), get a visual display on your two-way radio, or both! From there, you have a walkie-talkie at your side, with which you can flip to the right channel and respond. If the page’s priority doesn’t require immediate response, then continue on with your work with no interruptions.
Sitting in front of a phone waiting, wondering, and eventually having to page them overhead or, heaven forbid, search for them yourself, is not an ideal situation, but it’s the reality of many healthcare professionals even today. Pagers are notoriously one-way as well, as two-way paging is slow and inefficient, but with pages going directly to a radio at your side, it’s now possible to respond right then and there by going to the correct channel and pushing to talk. Time is invaluable, especially in healthcare, so having the ability to respond anytime and anywhere in the facility will keep staff where they are needed until the exact moment they are needed somewhere else.
Leading the Industry in Reliability
A big part of the reason pagers are so popular is due in part to how unshakably reliable they are. Those honkin plastic pagers can withstand a good drop, sure, but it’s the signal everyone’s worried about. Senior care communities can be very large in scope, which means there are bound to be dead spots in cellular services and shaky wi-fi connections at the outer edges. Pagers, on the other hand, have a strong local signal that reach stairwells, elevators, and other areas that struggle to allow in other types of network signals. In the light of tradition, a healthcare companies reach for the pager when they want reliable communication, but there exists another solution to these issues: two-way radios! Two-way radios, also known as walkie talkies, also have no reliance on wi-fi or cellular service, and can reach every nook and cranny that a pager can. On top of that you have audio correspondence, a snug and unobtrusive earpiece (for the quiet and reassurance you'll hear every correspondence, the accessories are more than worth getting!), and, if you buy the right radio, a visual interface as well.
This brings us back to that drop. Any job can turn hectic, let alone one where there is typically just 1 staff per 8 residents. While caring for your equipment goes a long way, Sure-Response’s two-way radios are durable enough to handle the wear and tear of a busy workday and light enough to carry without remembering it’s even there. If you happen to pick up a snug earpiece or nicely fitted headset on the way, it keeps you connected with your radio while the implement itself is quiet to everyone else, and your ears are open for in-person interactions. Our walkie-talkies have all of the reliability and function of a pager and then some packed into one small but powerful tool.
But wait, there’s more! Need a little more wiggle room in your budget every month? In addition to the nurse calling system, the pagers staff members walk around will have a monthly fee, just like cellphones. It’s something you don’t think about until you have to pay for it, but with two-way radios, not only do you have the boon of instant communication and constant connection to your peers, there are no monthly fees attached to the hardware or its operation. A one-time fee will pay for your communication system, even though the RIS system is continuously running!
That Special Touch
So far there’s been a lot of hoopla over the practical uses of RIS™ and two-way radios in a senior care community environment, but there’s a lot more to these facilities than just efficiency. There’s a lot of love going into the care of each resident, and Sure-Response recognizes that the most anticipated part of this field of healthcare is the connection between a caretaker and their charges. Each resident comes with a story, a whole lifetime of tales to tell, and each carries out their own journeys right alongside the workers that keep them comfortable and happy. We want to help the generous staff procure and nurture these relationships by providing them with a way to keep connected with the rest of the staff while their full attention is focused on the patient.
It’s difficult to improve communication amongst staff, which is proven to improve patient care itself, while also giving due attention to each client. After all, if staff are taking extra time to connect with their peers, how do they also find time to connect with their residents? With two-way radios, staff can hold group conversations on their way to seeing residents. They can ask each other questions, like how Doug is doing after his physical therapy, or whether Sharon on the other side of the facility decided to attend yoga that morning. There’s no paging, searching, or guessing anymore. Staff can get the information they need, when they need it, and all it takes is one finger to push-to-talk. Remember, smiles are contagious, so the more interactions your staff have with patients, the more smiles that go around!
Sure-Response is Here for YOU
Your senior care community is important. It’s important to people who work there and the people whose lives are touched by the quality of care and the compassion of their caretakers. Staying in touch is paramount to ensuring that your staff is informed and ready to jump into action when needed, but it’s also important that relaying information and getting context doesn’t keep staff from carrying out those responsibilities with efficiency and empathy. RIS from Sure-Response is a modern solution to a decades old problem, where sitting at phones and hearing loud, shaky announcements are the norm.
Be free and stay connected, with Sure-Response.