Vocera Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VCRA), a recognized leader in clinical communication and workflow solutions, today announced that Saratoga Hospital in New York used Vocera Badges worn under personal protective equipment (PPE) to prepare for COVID-19 and manage patient surges before and during the first wave of the pandemic.
“It was pretty tense waiting for the first wave of COVID-19. Having the Vocera Badges – and knowing we could communicate safely and effectively – was a source of assurance as we prepared for an unprecedented challenge,” said Diane Bartos, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Director of Critical Care at Saratoga Hospital, which has been using the hands-free communication across the facility for more than six years. “Managing a pandemic is not the time for cell phones or other hand-held devices that can be contaminated.”
Before Saratoga Hospital experienced its first wave of COVID-19 patients, care team members were well prepared. The hospital conducted PPE training to help frontline workers understand the right way to put on PPE and the safest way to remove it. During the training, which took place inside and outside an anteroom, the educator would observe and guide team members as they donned and doffed their protective equipment. The educator and staff members wore Vocera Badges to communicate during the safety training, which helped nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, and other care team members reduce their risk of self-contamination.
“Because Vocera Badges can be worn and used under gowns, our care team members were able to communicate quickly and safely,” Bartos said. “We were able to save valuable time and PPE. These devices were a huge help in preparing for the patient surge and for safeguarding our staff during this tough time.”
During the peak of the pandemic, care teams in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Saratoga Hospital used hands-free communication to reduce the number of team members needed in the room and improve staff safety. When the intubation team put a patient on a ventilator, the charge nurse would stand outside the room to observe the procedure and communicate with the team via their Vocera Badges. The nurse would guide the team as needed to help reduce the risk of cross contamination.
Similarly, nurses in an isolation room use the wearable device to communicate with an outside runner to get needed supplies. This communication process reduces the number of people in the room and minimizes the number of times a nurse must leave and reenter a room, and in turn, don and doff PPE.
“The team at Saratoga Hospital is an inspiration and an amazing example of compassion and resilience,” said Brent Lang, Chairman and CEO of Vocera. “I am so proud that Vocera solutions are helping protect healthcare workers on the frontlines as they care for patients during COVID-19 and beyond.”
About Saratoga Hospital
Saratoga Hospital is the Saratoga region’s leading healthcare provider and the only acute-care facility in Saratoga County. The hospital’s multispecialty practice, Saratoga Hospital Medical Group, provides care at more than 20 locations, ensuring easy access to programs and services that can have the greatest impact on individual and community health. Saratoga Hospital has maintained Magnet designation for nursing excellence since 2004. The hospital is an affiliate of the Albany Med Health System, which also includes Albany Med, Columbia Memorial Health and Glens Falls Hospital. The region’s largest locally governed health system, it has 1,520 beds, more than 800 physicians and 125 outpatient locations. For more information: www.saratogahospital.org or www.facebook.com/SaratogaHospital.
The mission of Vocera Communications, Inc. is to simplify and improve the lives of healthcare professionals, patients and families, while enabling hospitals to enhance quality of care and operational efficiency. In 2000, when the company was founded, we began to forever change the way care teams communicate. Today, Vocera offers the leading platform for improving clinical communication and workflow. More than 2,100 facilities worldwide, including nearly 1,700 hospitals and healthcare facilities, have selected our solutions. Care team members use our solutions to communicate and collaborate with co-workers by securely texting or calling, and to be notified of important alerts and alarms. They can choose the right device for their role or task, including smartphones or our hands-free, wearable Vocera Smartbadge and Vocera Badge. Interoperability between the Vocera Platform and more than 150 clinical and operational systems helps reduce alarm fatigue; speed up staff response times; and improve patient care, safety, and experience. In addition to healthcare, Vocera is at home in luxury hotels, aged care facilities, retail stores, schools, power facilities, libraries, and more. Vocera solutions make mobile workers safer and more effective by enabling them to connect instantly with other people and access resources or information quickly. Vocera has made the list of Forbes 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America. Visit www.vocera.com and follow @VoceraComm on Twitter.
Vocera® and the Vocera logo are trademarks of Vocera Communications, Inc. registered in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other trademarks appearing in this release are the property of their respective owners.