More time for patients

At the University Hospital Northern Norway in Tromsø, around 4,500 employees are working to save lives and care for their patients. Innovative healthcare technology from Ascom has helped to make the workday of healthcare professionals more efficient, and has allowed for better monitoring of each patient.

“The most important thing for me in the workday is giving my patients the help they need. When I finish work, I want to be sure that the patients have had a good day and that they’ve had the monitoring they deserve,” says Evelinn Elvagjeng.

Evelinn is a nurse on the Gynecology/Urology/Endocrinology/Plastic Surgery ward at the University Hospital Northern Norway. Since August 2018, the ward, which has 28 beds, has been part of a pilot project aimed at testing Ascom’s innovative healthcare technology. The results have been only positive.

“Before we got the Ascom system, we had up to 400 alarm notifications every day and all the nurses on the word were notified each time an alarm went off. This created enormous pressure and a work environment that was sometimes very demanding. Now we primarily get alarms related to our area of responsibility. And if, contrary to expectation, a nurse does not have the time or chance to follow it up, the alarm notification goes to the next person,” explains Elvagjeng, emphasizing that it makes the nurses much more observant of the alarm notifications they get. 

More time for care

In addition to a better work environment, the system has streamlined tasks for the employees on the ward. Each nurse receives messages directly to their mobile device, without the information having to pass through several others. This frees up more time for individual monitoring of patients.

“I feel that we’ve reduced the response time significantly in the period in which we’ve used the system. Everything’s working as it should, and there have been considerably fewer interruptions at work. This benefits both patients and staff,“ says Elvagjeng.

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Systems that facilitate service

Hege Bekkelund Moe is a member of the ward’s adminstration staff. She has many years of experience in the healthcare sector. One of Moe’s primary tasks is dealing with patient inquiries. The introduction of the Ascom system has radically changed her workday.

“The phones used to ring and ring. When I got a patient inquiry, the person had to be put through to the group manager in the relevant department, who in turn had to be put through to the nurse responsible for the patient concerned. Communication was very convoluted and exhausting for those involved,” recalls Moe. The new system gives her a complete overview of who is in charge of the various wards and she can put inquiries directly through to the nurses.

“It’s incredible how much more efficient it is. In a busy department like this, we depend on everything running smoothly. Some days we have up to 50 patients on the ward, and without an efficient system it leads to chaos,” says Moe.

Making everyday life easier

In the past, this service-minded woman has spent countless hours both within and outside of working hours tying up loose ends over and over again. The new system allows her to leave work with a good feeling, knowing that she has made everyday life easier for patients and staff.

“I’m a service-minded person from head to toe. I need a job where I can make a positive difference to other people. That is precisely what has become easier now,” she beams.

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Essential alarm systems

At the University Hospital Northern Norway, there is an alarm notification for almost everything. In critical cases, the warning makes the difference between life and death. The systems must be faultless at Northern Norway’s largest hospital.

“People’s lives are at stake. We can’t afford system failure,” says Gisle Løkken Hansen.

Hansen is a senior engineer at UNN and has operational responsibility for all alarm notifaction systems in the hospital. He praises Ascom for the healthcare technology that helps save lives.

“The products are stable and function as intended. Uptime is almost 100 percent. In addition, Ascom has a large team that takes support inquiries at any time of day, every day of the year. The support we receive is invaluable. It provides security, and that’s the way it should be when it comes to something as precious as people’s lives,” he says.

Hansen was responsible for the introduction of the Ascom system on the Gynecology/Urology/Endocrinology/Plastic Surgery ward.

“The users are extremely satisfied with the system. It’s quieter in the departments, there’s less noise and more time to concentrate on their actual tasks. My job is to introduce new technology at the hospital, and at the same time to provide staff with the technical solutions needed to do their jobs. And in this case, we’ve succeeded,” smiles Hansen.

by Hallvar Agersborg,