The long-awaited C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital will open to the public on Nov. 13, complete with technological advancements that will increase communication between patients and nurses.

In the hospital, clinicians will operate and interact with patients through a system in which nurses and doctors will use cell phones to transmit alerts from patient rooms to notify them when patient needs assistance.

“Patients of a really high acuity tend to have different types of monitors attached to them, and getting the alerts and alarms out of those monitors so that the caregivers can understand them is really important,” said Christine Szumko, Information Services project manager of the new facility.

In the current facility, caregivers can hear alarms from the monitors and respond accordingly if they are in the same room treating another patient. However, since patients will be in separate rooms in the new facility, nurses and doctors will now receive alerts in the form of cell phone messages.

To ensure a smooth transition to the new system, several units of the hospital staff have already been practicing with the phones, Szumko said.

“The nurses will have a phone on their hip, and they’re going to be able to call each other,” she said. “So today, they’re just using the features of the phone — how to call each other, having to get used to wearing it, how to understand who has what phone.”

The most significant part of the new system, Szumko added, is the technology involved in transmitting the alerts from the monitors to the phones, since the messages must cross a variety of electronic barriers. The system was created by Connexall USA — a company that creates organizational methods for medical information and communication.

“What we’re really excited about is that we have middleware, this software that sits in the middle of everything and is able to take various different inputs — whether it’s from the nurse call system or the patient monitors system — and send it to various different outputs, like the wireless phones or the pagers,” she said.

Ultimately, improving the quality of care for patients also improves the quality of care provided by doctors and nurses, Szumko said.

“The environment itself provides a better care environment for the patients, and this is what we’re going to give to our caregivers,” she said. “To sort of extend their eyes and ears into the patient rooms when they’re not physically present.”

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