2) Which has the best equipment warranty and lowest cost of ownership?
Nurse call no matter how you slice it is equipment. Equipment needs maintenance – physical maintenance. An electronic component breaks down.
As equipment, once it is in the wall it is challenging to replace due to back boxes, cable and other “installation” issues. The house we talked about previously if you decide you would like new Kitchen Cabinets and countertops once you change what is there it is really cost prohibitive (if not prohibitive, it’s a really bad investment choice) to change it 6 months later.
Therefore, the long term cost of ownership is important.
3) It’s broken – now what?
As Nurse Call Systems enter the realm of VOIP it is amazing that the support structure Du jour is “off site” or “call center” similar to the change from full service to self service at the gas station. As described above, a Nurse Call System is hardware that is controlled by software that interacts with other software and systems.
The item I do think is valuable is using the hospital help desk to assess the issue, but they need to be aware that diagnosing the issue is more than just dialing into a software platform and making an assessment. If a clinician calls in on a fully integrated system and says “my phone doesn’t work” then the person answering the call needs to know it’s probably not the “phone” that’s broken. That’s why we developed a “Help Desk” training program that assists a call center in diagnosing the problem in an integration.
It is necessary to have an available group to be on-site within a period of time. If your disaster plan or maintenance plan categorizes a Nurse Call System to only be down for a set period of time then you need to make sure a response on-site can be within that time.
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