Cone Health Uses Technology To Transform Maternity Campus Into North Carolina's First COVID-19 Only Hospital

Within 28 days, Cone Health transformed its former women's health campus into a designated COVID-19 hospital.
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Within 28 days, Cone Health transformed its former women's health campus into a designated COVID-19 hospital. Using teamwork and technology, the Cone Health Green Valley campus in Greensboro, North Carolina became the area's first specialized COVID-19 hospital, boasting the latest development in coronavirus care, negative pressure ventilation, and hands-free communication throughout the facility.

More than 80 leaders from multi-disciplinary teams across the health system were involved in redesigning the former Women's Hospital and opening it as a COVID-19 only facility in April of 2020. By year end, more than 1,500 patients had received care at the 116-bed COVID-19 hospital. A place once dedicated to bringing new life into the world, is now dedicated to keeping life from ending too soon.

"It was exactly what we needed for our community. We wanted the new COVID-19 hospital to be the safest place in the city," said Brent McQuaid, MD, chief medical officer at Cone Health's COVID-only campus. "We also wanted to design an environment to protect and empower staff with the right tools and technology, remove physical barriers, and enable them to provide hands-on care at the bedside without worry or fear of contamination."

The health system's Lean team and infectious disease team joined forces to ensure that clinical workflows, operational processes, and technology solutions were safe and efficient. Among the approved innovations used to protect and connect care teams in the COVID-19 hospital is the wearable Vocera Smartbadge.

The voice-controlled Smartbadge enables team members to communicate hands-free and can be worn under personal protective equipment (PPE). A nurse, doctor, or other team member can initiate communication by simply saying, "OK, Vocera" followed by voice commands like "call respiratory therapist" or "call Code Blue team." The Smartbadge, along with the Vocera Vina smartphone app, is also being used in the new Women's & Children's Center at Moses Cone Hospital to help care teams provide exceptional and personal care.

"Many patients need hands-on care, whether they are a sick baby or an elderly man with COVID-19, which is why hands-free communication is ideal for many clinicians; but there also are times when clinicians need to exchange more context about the patient situation, and a secure mobile app is preferred," said Kenneth Rempher PhD, RN, executive vice president of acute care services and chief nurse executive at Cone Health.

"Regardless of device or whether our clinicians are working in the new women's hospital or at the COVID-only campus, our care teams have the essential tools and technology needed to provide safe, compassionate and high-quality care," said Cathy Cochran, RN, executive director of clinical informatics at Cone Health.

About Cone Health

Cone Health is a national leader in quality, service and cost. The integrated health care network consists of Alamance Regional Medical Center, Annie Penn Hospital, Cone Health Behavioral Health Hospital, The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, Wesley Long Hospital, Cone Health Medical Group, MedCenter High Point, MedCenter Kernersville, MedCenter Mebane, Triad HealthCare Network, HealthTeam Advantage and various outpatient clinics and programs. More than 13,000 exceptional people provide exceptional care to the people of Guilford, Alamance, Rockingham, Forsyth, Caswell and Randolph counties.

About Vocera

The mission of Vocera Communications, Inc. is to simplify and improve the lives of healthcare professionals, patients, and families while enabling hospitals to enhance quality of care and operational efficiency and humanize the healthcare experience. In 2000, when the company was founded, we began to forever change the way care teams communicate. Today, Vocera offers the leading platform for improving clinical communication and workflow. More than 2,100 facilities worldwide, including nearly 1,700 hospitals and healthcare facilities, have selected our solutions. Care team members use our solutions to communicate and collaborate with co-workers by securely texting or calling, and to be notified of important alerts and alarms. They can choose the right device for their role or task, including smartphones or our hands-free, wearable Vocera Smartbadge and Vocera Badge. They can create a richer, more human connection for patients and their loved ones before, during, and after care using Vocera Ease applications. Interoperability between the Vocera Platform and more than 150 clinical and operational systems helps reduce alarm fatigue; speed up staff response times; and improve patient care, safety, and experience. In addition to healthcare, Vocera solutions are found in luxury hotels, aged care facilities, retail stores, schools, power facilities, libraries, and more. Vocera solutions make mobile workers safer and more effective by enabling them to connect instantly with other people and access resources or information quickly. Vocera has made the list of Forbes 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America, and the Vocera Smartbadge was named to TIME's list of the 100 Best Inventions of 2020. Learn more at www.vocera.com, and follow @VoceraComm and @VoceraEase on Twitter.

Vocera® and the Vocera logo are trademarks of Vocera Communications, Inc. registered in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other trademarks appearing in this release are the property of their respective owners.

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