Partnering sixteen plus (16+) years of clinical experience in the fast paced environment of the Emergency Department with twenty plus (20+) years of programming experience in the fast twitch world of disruptive technology lead to this collaborative effort of Mocabell: Your Mobile Call Bell.
Dr. Hsu listened to his partner Mr. Kim; relate his real-world personal experience as a patient in a busy Emergency Department. Left on a gurney in a strange part of the hospital, Mr. Kim could only wonder who would notice if he had a question or scarier still, if his medical condition worsened. Trying to make eye contact with anyone was difficult. Calling out with his voice made him uncomfortable. Mr. Kim could only wait until someone approached. Luckily, it was his nurse. The nurse was thorough, thoughtful, and caring, but obviously charged with a multitude of other tasks with many other patients. Thankfully, Mr. Kim’s medical condition resolved and improved during his stay. He was discharged feeling better physically, but humbled emotionally. Mr. Kim knew that technology could only make things better. Mr. Kim accepted Dr. Hsu’s challenge to leverage the technology in every single one of his patient’s pockets, their smartphone, while also adhering to the adage of KISS: Keeping It Simple Stupid. Conceptually, the call bell does what it is supposed to do. Push a button, get a response. Can it be better, smarter? Dr. Hsu queried his nursing colleagues: what do patients want when they push the call bell? It’s usually one of four things:
- An alarm on a device is beeping.
- The patient is in pain.
- The patient needs to go the bathroom.
- They have some kind of question about their current condition. Mocabell: Your Mobile Call Bell provides a fast and intuitive alternative way of communicating directly with the nursing staff. Through mobile smartphone and tablet technology transmitted securely through an existing Wifi hospital network, poignant, self-directed messages can be sent to a nurse’s desktop or mobile device. These messages instantaneously direct a busy nurse to the next task. If unable to do so, other nurses on the unit can be messaged through our “Team Player” function. A team player is a well-known selfless person willing to pitch in and help during times of need. Through our intuitive mobile and desktop interface, nurses can act as a cohesive team as opposed to working in an individual silo. By reviewing a patient’s Call Bell Log, nurses can act decisively as the patient’s advocate, addressing their needs in a knowledgeable proactive manner. For example, if a patient reported pain 5-6 times over the previous shift, a nurse can inquire about the adequacy of the prescribed pain medication, or if the administration schedule needs to be adjusted. Through our Unit Reports, administrators can see what kind of calls is being made, how many of them, who is responding to them, and when they are occurring. These reports can direct utilization of resources and redirection of nursing manpower during historically busy coverage periods, or address patient satisfaction deficits. Nursing, as a cornerstone of the patient experience, will embrace Mocabell: Your Mobile Call Bell as a highly customizable tool. The patient can choose to remain tethered to a room based call bell system, or opt into a simple yet elegant system that is secure, does not gather any sensitive information except for their name and an email address. Each transaction is stored securely. Each message is timestamped. An easy to use “Panic” button function is included in the system, as well as a “General Info” button which can provide individualized information about the hospital, their unit, or the local surroundings. Patients may register themselves or choose to be registered by their care provider with their own mobile device or one provided to them by the hospital. The account can be used for future visits, even transferred to another hospital utilizing the Mocabell: Your Mobile Call Bell system.
Challenges I ran into
Creating a system that is as intuitive and easy to use as a push-button call bell, with the safety, security, look, feel, and responsiveness users expect from a modern mobile app.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We believe that Mocabell: Your Mobile Call Bell is neither earth-shattering nor rocket-science. Simply put, the system is an elegant solution to a common problem. Mocabell: Your Mobile Call Bell is truly collaboration between modern technology addressing clinical workflow.
What I learned
Stakeholder involvement is the key. All perspectives were analyzed, from patient, to provider, to administrator. We believe that our system satisfies all parties and will continue to evolve as their needs evolve.
What's next for Mocabell
We believe that the power of Mocabell: Your Mobile Call Bell lies within the system’s scalability. From small practices wishing to communicate between exam room and consultation room, to short-stay outpatient therapy centers empowering their patients remotely, from the hospital ward, to the Emergency Department, our system can be tailored to fit any environment using existing Information Technology infrastructure, the web and cloud-based systems, mobile apps, and readily available hand-held devices. Mocabell: Your Mobile Call Bell’s simplicity belies its intricacy. We can now define in our own terms what it means to “push a button, get a response”.