Are Wireless Nurse Call Systems Any Good?
There is no doubt that the idea of wireless connectivity is appealing. Consider Wi-Fi. It is neat, quick, convenient and unobtrusive.
A small percentage of domestic homes will still use Ethernet, Wi-Fi delivers all the functionality required so the vast majority of home (and small business) owners opt for wireless. Once a wireless router or access point is in place, potentially any devices in the building can then every easily connect to the network and internet.
This Analogy Holds Up with Wireless Nurse Call.
In a simple nursing home, a single display panel can be mounted on the wall, plugged in to a local 13A socket. As the display is also the control panel, once installed it is simply powered up and that’s it.
Room units are screwed to the wall near the bed head, usually just 2 screws – job done. Move on to next room.
A wired system (such as a Quantec nurse call system) on the other hand generally involves running cables along corridors and into rooms at a high level.
Cable then has to travel down the wall to the call point, either via trunking or chased out the wall from the ceiling to the call point. In addition a spur will then be required to get the bathroom which will need to be done in each room.
Obviously for a new build or extension, none of this is an issue and generally in these circumstances a wired system is the best approach.
Wireless nurse call systems approach does not just have a cosmetic advantage (no trunking or redecorating), but the disruption to the resident is minimal – 2 holes to drill, screw it to the wall, then a visit later as part of the commissioning check.
Quite often room layouts change from the original design. Beds change positions, furniture changes and different residents have differing needs. Once the room has been moved around, and causes the call point to be out of place, simply move it (2 screws remember).
If an extension is built or change the use of a room, simply add more units. You may need to get your installer or maintainer to help with some re-programming, but often not.
Advantages of Wireless
Wireless nurse call systems have benefits other than the ease of installation. The more premium control panels are generally based on a computer. This computing power can be put to good use and can provide an excellent logging and reporting function.
Display screens are better – They can be larger, which helps in viewing from a distance
Full Colour Displays – You could display your logo or the day’s menu ?
Call Logging – This is usually built in. Best practice is to keep records of all calls and response times. Reports can be viewed on screen and exported to your computer should the need arise
Remote Management – See what’s going in in your home from anywhere with a internet connection
Remote Suppor – Remote support is often available from the maintenance service provider
“The Good, The Bad and the Downright Untrue”
Comparisons will obviously be made between the two systems – wireless vs wired and which is the most suitable for a particular application.
We offer what, in our experience are the salient points. We’ve some more points together below of other things you may wish to consider if you are in the market for a new nurse call system.
- Quick Installation – A wireless nurse call system can usually be installed in a single day
- Minimal Disruption – No cables to run or hide
- Flexible – Very easy to make changes and additions
- Larger Displays – Screens can display more information
- Inbuilt logging – Most systems have call logging build into the software
- Neat – Pear push holders are fitted to room unit brackets
- Remote Access – Many systems can be configured for remote access
- Maintenance – There is a higher maintenance load. Batteries require replacement once a year. If you have a service contract (and you really ought to), your provider will replace the batteries then. Find out more about our maintenance contracts here.
That’s about it really !
- It interferes with Wi-Fi – Wrong! The two systems work on entirely different frequencies
- Low battery life – An annual battery change is usually sufficient
- Signals strengths are poor – This shouldn’t be an issue if installed correctly
- Room units fail – Yes they do, but then so do fixed counterparts
- Unsuitable for hospitals – There are several type that are HTM08-03 compliant HTM08-03 Nurse Call for Hospitals