How to Choose Nurse Call Systems for Nursing Homes

nurses at nurse station with state-of-the-art nurse call systems
Nurse call systems help your staff provide excellent care to nursing home patients.

Nurse call systems are an integral part of many healthcare facilities. These systems improve quality of care and patient safety and provide communication solutions between patients and caregivers. If your nurse call system is aging or malfunctioning, it may be time to install a new system in your nursing home. It’s important to understand the requirements and available features to choose the right nurse call solutions for your nursing home facility. 

Consider Requirements for Nurse Call Systems in Nursing Homes

When exploring different nurse call systems, it’s important to know the requirements for your facility. Generally, nursing homes, also known as skilled nursing facilities, are required to have nurse call systems. The requirements vary based on your exact location and the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). However, many AHJs adopt code requirements from the NFPA 99 code for healthcare facilities. 

Typically, nurse call systems must include a call button for patients at each bed as well as near all toilets, baths, and showers. Pull stations in bathrooms must be reachable for patients lying on the ground in case of a fall. 

Also, nurse call systems in nursing homes must provide audible and visual notifications for an alarm at the nurse call station. In addition to the station notifications, a call must also initiate a dome light illumination outside the bedroom for easy identification.

These are just some of the requirements that may apply to your nursing home facility. Our team can walk you through additional requirements from local, state, and federal agencies, as well as accreditation organizations when applicable. 

Additional Nurse Call Features for Nursing Homes

Of course, many facilities want systems that go beyond the basic requirements for their life safety solutions. Today, there are many additional features to help tailor your nurse call systems to your facility. We recommend getting nurses and other caregivers involved in the selection process. Their feedback on different features can be incredibly valuable for your nursing home facility.

One popular upgrade for nurse call systems is two-way voice communication between the patient and the responding nurse. This can help nurses understand the patient’s specific needs and can also save nurses extra trips for certain situations. For instance, if a patient presses their call button because they need their medication, two-way communication allows the nurse to understand the nature of the call and bring the medication with them. Otherwise, the nurse must first visit the patient’s room, then leave to get the medicine and come back.  Therefore, two-way communication can help save time and improve patient satisfaction.

Another common feature nursing home staff love is the bed exit alarm. These use pressure pads on beds or chairs. When the pads detect the patient is no longer there, they sound an alarm through the nurse call systems. This can help identify falls as well as let staff know that a patient is attempting to leave the bed or chair without the assistance they need. 

Therefore, there are any number of different features you might choose from for your nursing home’s call systems. These help you customize the system to your needs and staff workflows to improve patient care and safety. 

Life Safety Solutions from Wilson Fire Equipment

Our team at Wilson Fire Equipment is here to help when you need nurse call system installation or upgrades. We work with healthcare facilities to identify their needs and design systems that fit their objectives and budget. We also offer 24/7 security systems monitoring in Houston to help you keep your facility secure from intruders and criminals. Get in touch today to request a quote and learn how we can help your skilled nursing facility.