One of our super-cool residents
This little badge-gizmo-on-a-lanyard from Vocera is being tested in our ICU's to facilitate communication between doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other care providers there.
Each nurse picks up one of these devices each shift and "signs in" on the company's website, where the name is associated with the ID number of the device. Push a button, and the device responds "Vocera" meaning it's ready to receive your command. You then say "Call Wes Fisher." The device uses it's voice recognition software and responds "Calling John Sheridan." The nurse quickly pushed the button to cancel the page.
Oops, seems I was not signed in for the system.
So I had them call someone who HAD signed in that shift and it worked pretty well. There was need to drop what they were doing to find a phone. Also, the person on the receiving end did not have to touch the device to respond and the communication was just like talking to each other on a loud speakerphone. One nurse mentioned that conversations could be overheard if family is near, but they could say "Transfer call to extension 1-2-3-4" (for instance) and the call will be automatically transferred to a different phone extension for a more private conversation. They also liked the ability to say "Call ICU pharmacist" without having to leave the patient's room to clarify an electronic order.
Interesting stuff. We'll just have to see how it works when folk's voice commands compete with the overhead intercom calling for a "Code Blue."
Note: I have no commercial interest in the technology described above.