As the United States continues efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19, many hotels are housing medical staff and taking on the task of transitioning into pop-up hospitals, which are crucial in providing a space to care for and protect the influx of patients due to overcrowded hospitals. However, before a hotel can transition into a space suited for medical care, the current infrastructure should be assessed to determine what additional technology investments should be made.
Setting up and running a pop-up hospital during a global pandemic is obviously challenging. Not only is there very little time to plan due to the nature of the situation, but there is also no time to waste. This means that whatever technology is implemented must answer some fundamental questions. For instance, is this system adaptable, customizable, and able to be implemented quickly?
Often hospitals use hardwired medical technology in their buildings, such as a nurse call system. However, time is of the essence and implementing such technology is time consuming, not to mention it will simply be ripped out once the pop-up hospital is no longer needed. Instead, a wireless communication and alerting system can be set up quickly and used immediately. These systems can work through mobile devices, desktops, TVs, tablets and more.
A wireless communication and alerting system can be used to automate various events, which is pertinent to addressing the needs of a pop-up hospital. For instance, a triggering event, such as a door opening or a code blue, can cause an alert to be sent out to the proper personnel (from nurses and doctors to front desk personnel to housekeeping) without the need for human assistance. These alerts can be automated from a variety of things, such as a patient requesting help to use the restroom or a sensor being triggered. They contain real-time detailed information, such as the room number or the type of request that’s been placed, so a staff member can be informed of what’s happening and accept the alert all from a mobile device -- ensuring patients receive the care they need in an efficient manner. And because all staff can see when an alert is accepted, it improves workflow by minimizing how often multiple staff members respond to one situation.
With a wireless communication system in place, staff aren’t only able to receive alerts regarding their patients, but can also receive messages containing important information directly from administration, as well. This can be useful in quickly delivering information about any updates or changes to protocol or the facility. Since a pop-up hospital is likely a new environment for everyone involved, it’s important that a line of efficient communication like this is established to keep everyone connected and on the same page. This can go a long way in making both medical and hotel staff feel comfortable and able to do their jobs.
A wireless communication and alerting system can also provide a pop-up hospital with a feature called vector mapping, which can be used for mobile duress and asset tracking. A vector is a mathematical calculation that combines direction and strength to determine the position of one point in space relative to another, which means vector mapping is able to provide details on the location of important assets. To achieve this, various transmitters are placed throughout the facility in addition to mobile duress or asset tracking transmitters, this creates various signals or as we refer to it “points of interest” creating a wireless network. With all of these different transmitters sending signals, a wireless net is cast throughout the facility that can calculate the three closest mathematical matches to determine the location of a triggered device or duress. This allows responders to quickly find a person in need and helps staff to locate important equipment, from ventilators to IV pumps. Not only does this improve operations and prevent loss, but it’s especially useful for managing the unfamiliar environment of a pop-up hospital.