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Enabling Critical Communication while Reducing Risk of Infection

For decades, Zenitel has helped healthcare organizations communicate. Such communication is important now more than ever. Avoiding contact between infected and uninfected individuals has become a major priority at healthcare institutions of all kinds. Hospitals have had to quickly develop guidelines, procedures, and policies in support of this goal.

From limiting or completely denying visitation to patients to interviewing and evaluating anyone coming to the hospital prior to entrance, these measures have a common thread: They are designed to limit the physical interaction between people as much as possible.

Zenitel has long provided communication solutions to hospitals and other healthcare institutions. Given the special considerations that must be taken during pandemics, it is worth examining the role some of these solutions can play in reducing the risk of viral transmission.

Outside the Hospital

“Before the patient is checked in, before a visitor is allowed in, before a nurse or doctor has to physically engage; communication is critical,” said Zenitel Product Manager Thomas Halvorsen. “Zenitel was asked to help brainstorm how intelligent communication technology might be rapidly mobilized to help with the risk. With Zenitel's IC-EDGE suite of solutions, we can now provide an IP communication station with incredible clarity that has an embedded camera. These stations can be activated by an elbow or footswitch to further reduce the risk of contamination.”

Screening patients usually involves asking questions about symptoms, recent travel, and any contact with infected or possibly infected individuals. The utilization of intercom stations reinforces social distancing but still allows for both audio and video communication.

Communication with Contagious Patients

Another point to consider in handling infectious diseases is the importance of disinfecting hospital equipment and facilities. Quarantined patients must be able to contact hospital staff. But touching stations can easily lead to contamination.  Intercom stations specified as a cleanroom/isolation-room stations provide caregivers added protection. If needed, they can be integrated into a hospitals VoIP system. These stations are designed to be resistant to bacterial accumulation and other contagion.

They are easy to disinfect and can withstand most chemicals.

Installed by Your Own IT  

At times when limiting non-essential contact is paramount, it is especially pertinent to think about ease of installation. The IC-EDGE suite is designed for easy installation and maintenance by in-house staff.

“Within 30 minutes, the station can be installed by your IT staff or a certified integrator,” Halvorsen said. “This ease of use further limits the need for external personnel to enter the premises.”

The solution does not require any server or complex infrastructure.

Other Healthcare Institutions

Looking forward, it seems likely that COVID-19 will change the way that not only hospitals, but healthcare institutions of all kinds think about access control, visitor management, and patient and staff communication during pandemics. Retirement homes, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and other institutions will have to take some of these points into consideration as well.

The main goal for healthcare institutions is and always has been the protection of patients. Zenitel is committed to developing safe and reliable communication solutions that allow these institutions to carry out their work quickly and efficiently by keeping vital communication lines open and operating.

For more information on Zenitel’s solutions for healthcare providers, click here.

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