When COVID-19 hit Denmark in March, Kasper Nesager-Hansen, normally a freelance tech journalist and author, felt compelled to put his skills as a Social and Healthcare Assistant to work at a hospital in Copenhagen.
Kasper’s experience working on the front lines of the crisis really drove home how important the right tech can be in a healthcare setting. Faced with extraordinary protective measures when treating patients in a COVID-19 unit, it quickly becomes clear to Kasper how counterproductive – even obsolete – the hospital’s legacy communication equipment was while working with patients in isolation.
Calls between staff across the hospital are a critical aspect of patient care. When working in a COVID isolation room, supervising nurses often need to call through changes in medication or update staff on a patient’s treatment.
The hospital’s handheld phones don’t support Bluetooth, so nurses and doctors need to remove contaminated personal protective equipment (PPE) before exiting the COVID-19 unit to return a call.
Kasper explains, “Receiving a call meant exiting the room, taking off all the PPE equipment and sterilizing myself, which could take around 10 minutes. Missed calls are the norm, requiring us to call colleagues back. It was an unnecessary waste of time and money, as I needed a new set of PPE before I could go back to caring for my patient.”
VOICE-ENABLED COMMANDS PUT HIM IN CONTROL
Kasper was surprised that hospital staff didn’t have the hands-free communication tools that are relatively common these days. So, he started using his own smartphone, pairing it with his Poly Voyager 5200 earpiece.
“Now, if I’m called by a colleague I can say “answer” and receive the call, without having to remove my protective gear, stop and go out of the room or pause the care of my patient,” Kasper says and continues:
“The voice control feature enabled me to answer calls without touching my phone with contaminated gloves. The sound quality is great – with noise cancellation my colleagues were able to hear my voice despite background noise.”
TAKING OUR COVID-19 EXPERIENCE TO INITIATE LONG-TERM CHANGE
There’s a huge need for wireless communication in the healthcare sector — both during and beyond the pandemic. And, when coupled with a Bluetooth-enabled phone, the Poly Voyager 5200 has proven its value in a live healthcare setting.
“Being part of the social and healthcare sector in Denmark, I experience firsthand the challenges in delivering patient care. Voice-controlled headsets can be a time-saver and is something we need in the healthcare sector as we’ll have more time to care for our patients,” Kasper said. “COVID-19 has shown us that the healthcare sector can benefit from the communication tools on the market and it’s not a big cost to the sector compared to the reduced waste of time.”
Images ©Kasper Nesager-Hansen 2020