Keeping Mobile Staff Connected at Mad River Hospital - Arcata, CA

DuraFon: Hospital addresses challenging infrastructure and enhances connectivity for various departments

Healthcare communication is constantly evolving so it is crucial to have a strong dependable phone system in place that keeps everyone connected and operations running efficiently. Mad River Hospital in Arcata, California is committed to providing the best care to its patients by providing advanced technology and a deep commitment to the community and residents. The hospital serves a tight-knit community with specific healthcare needs and is situated with a demanding infrastructure, making it difficult to maintain effective phone communication throughout the facility. This underscores the importance of a telecom solution that can bridge the gaps inherent in challenging healthcare settings and be able to adapt to the diverse needs of hospital departments, from maintenance, laboratory services, nursing, and housekeeping.

Jennifer Warren, the Telecom Manager at Mad River Hospital with nearly thirty years of experience in the telecom industry, talked to us about how she helped transform the hospital’s communication with the DuraFon system. Her extensive background in various sectors has given her a deep understanding of the vital role that communication technology plays in ensuring seamless hospital operations and patient care.

The Need

Mad River Hospital is a prime example of a healthcare facility facing unique (or not so unique) communication challenges. The hospital’s telecom manager, Jen, described the previous communication solutions as limited, especially in terms of range and coverage. The hospital used a proprietary cordless phone system to interface with the digital ports on their phone system. Like many hospitals, Mad River Hospital needed to find a solution that would provide reliable complete coverage to difficult to reach areas with different building materials, equipment, and obstacles affecting signal strength. There was also a strong need for a system that could adapt to different departments with distinct needs.

“We have supervisors that roam the entire hospital and need to be available to all departments at all hours. The massive range that you get out of these little handsets is fantastic.”
Jennifer Warren
Telecom Manager, Mad River Hospital

The Solution

Standard cordless phones simply did not have the range and a Wi-Fi based phone solution was also not feasible due to the hospital’s policy to keep the phone system isolated from the wireless network to ensure critical stations are not impacted in case of outages. To address these challenges, Jen turned to the DuraFon phone system, which she had a positive experience with in the past and had proven itself to be a viable solution for such challenging environments.

To further increase the coverage, Jen enhanced the signal strength by installing a DuraFon antenna kit placed higher up to avoid blockage from other obstructions. The antenna kit further extended the system’s already exceptional range, ensuring reliable communication even in areas where conventional mobile phones failed due to poor cellular coverage or interference from medical equipment. The DuraFon system’s remarkable range and obstacle penetration power now allows hospital staff to stay connected throughout the premises, significantly improving operational efficiency and response times to patient needs.

The Results

Implementing the DuraFon at Mad River Hospital significantly improved communication between different departments, leading to better patient care and a more efficient operation. The system’s durability and ease of cleaning were highly valued, with the devices often lasting for years despite the demanding hospital setting. The DuraFon’s water-resistant and rugged design makes it suitable for use in various healthcare settings, where sanitation and durability are essential. Some phones are used to provide translation services to patients and being able to easily sanitize the phone makes them perfect for this environment.

Jen was pleased to note the positive feedback from staff across different departments, who praised the system’s ability to meet their unique needs and improve patient care. Using the DuraFon allowed housekeeping to be quickly and easily summoned after patient checkout which was a huge time saver. The broadcast functionality was particularly appreciated for its hands-free announcements, which was very useful for staff who needed to maintain sterility at times when they could not physically touch their devices. Overall, they are very happy with how the DuraFon telephone system is improving operations and response times. Jen was happy to note that she has used most of the features on the DuraFon system, but one thing she has never done is called EnGenius DuraFon support, only because “they just work.”

“Staff are using the broadcast feature to give announcements to some technicians that are often with patients and can’t answer the phone because they don’t want to make their hands dirty. I don’t of know of another cordless phone that can make a broadcast announcement like that.”
Jennifer Warren
Telecom Manager, Mad River Hospital

Mad River Hospital’s successful utilization of the DuraFon system sets a benchmark for other healthcare facilities encountering similar obstacles. Their experience with the DuraFon system has proven how a reliable and versatile communication solution can elevate care in the healthcare industry.

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