Hillrom Voalte Nurse Call Staff Station Awarded Featured Finalist in the 2022 IDEA Awards.

ATLANTA, GA – THRIVE and Hillrom are pleased to announce that we have been selected as a Featured Finalist in the 2022 IDEA Awards. The Voalte Nurse Call Staff Station  earned a spot on the prestigious list in the Medical & Health category of the world renowned design prize. The IDEA Awards recognize innovation in product and industrial design and are considered to be among one of the greatest honors in the design industry.

What makes the Voalte Nurse Call Staff Station an IDEA Awards worthy innovation?

One of the main criteria for the IDEA awards is the innovations’ overall benefit to society. In other words, making a product that serves business needs without serving users isn’t going to be enough. THRIVE consistently wins or reaches the finalist stage of the IDEA awards due to user-centric design thinking.

In this particular case, with more than 2,000 entries spanning 25 countries, the Hillrom Voalte Nurse Call Staff Station stood out because it represents a significant leap in the modernization of nurse call systems. Designed for use in hospitals, assisted living and independent living facilities, it connects caregivers to their patients, empowering them to keep patients safe and satisfied while improving their experience with better response times. Compared to its competitor products, it provides faster processing power, enhanced audio, and a camera to support video-based communications with patients and caregivers — an industry first.

Response times have been reduced by up to 80% by filtering out non-relevant alarms, and increased communication between Health Unit Coordinators (HUCs) and caregivers has saved up to 34 minutes on discharge, reducing costs and accelerating patient throughput.

The system is designed to be modular with a removable base and handset cradle so it can be wall-mounted in locations with limited desk space such as hallway nurse stations and can also be configured without the base or handset as an information and telepresence hub within patient rooms — all in a single product architecture.

Additionally, to prevent blocked calls and workflow congestion caused by the handset not hanging up correctly, THRIVE replaced the existing mechanical system with a Hall Sensor in the handset and an accompanying Neodymium Magnet in the cradle. The phone always hangs up without any mechanical assistance by detecting a magnetic field. It also has the added benefit of being magnetically attached to the cradle via a non-ferritic metal block, providing added security and tactile feedback, so the user intuitively knows the call is terminated and the handset is correctly in place.

Existing nurse call stations have large footprints that take up valuable space on crowded hospital unit desktops and are visually similar to other telephony products. THRIVE reduced the overall footprint by anchoring the handset cradle to the back of the product and adopting an articulating cantilever base with integrated cable management to prevent unwanted disconnections and strain on cables when repositioning the staff station on the desktop.

How exactly does the Voalte Nurse Call Staff Station improve users’ lives?

THRIVE took a human-centered approach to the Nurse Call Staff Station design based on in-field insights focused on the comfort of the end-users — HUCs and Charge Nurses — who use the system for up to twelve hours a day on a single shift. The critical area of sacrifice was handset comfort, with existing designs being challenging to hold and uncomfortable on the ear for extended periods. THRIVE’s team benchmarked twenty different handsets to determine the optimal configuration arriving at an optimal weight range of range 150-200 grams, a 50/50 weight balance between ear and mouth, angled mouth and earpieces for better face contouring (approx. 15 degrees) with a dished ear cup for improved sound quality, and an hourglass contour to comfortably fit hand sizes from a 5th percentile female to a 95th percentile male.

Grasping the handset quickly and easily is vital to HUCs and Charge Nurses in mission-critical moments. Delivering on this need, we adopted an ‘open C’ configuration to the handset cradle so the handset could be grasped easily from the left or the right side in the center of the handset for optimal balance and control. Hospital environments can be noisy and chaotic with a multitude of alarms. To ensure caregivers never miss a call, we added a dome light, full length, to the top edge of the entire unit to provide visual notifications as well as auditory ones. The articulating stand enables HUCs and Charge Nurses to comfortably operate from both standing and seated positions.

In summary, the Voalte Call Station is an answer to a key issue in healthcare — the caregivers need just as much help and support as the patients in order to perform their best. THRIVE designed a solution that reduces stress and friction in hospitals, assisted living, and independent living facilities.

The IDEA Awards judges see the Voalte Call Station as a benefit to society.

Through the Hillrom Voalte Nurse Call Station, care teams can access multiple systems and applications, experience the best of patient engagement and telemedicine, manage large groups of specialists, coordinate work between on-site and off-site care team members, and proactively meet patients’ needs before they even have to ask.

The reception from hospitals has been overwhelmingly positive, with Hillrom receiving information that one hospital reduced response times by 80 percent, another reduced falls with injury by 87 percent, and yet another hospital reported caregivers spending 30 percent more time on direct patient care. The success of the Hillrom Voalte Nurse Call Station has bolstered the reputation of Hillrom as a leading medical device maker and innovator in the connected care category with an increasing market share.

As the world witnessed during the past several years, healthcare professionals need to be cared for just as they care for their patients. On-the-job pressures can take a toll on the health of caregivers, which is why the development of new technology — like the Hillrom Voalte Nurse Call platform that helps make their job easier — is imperative for caregiver well-being. With enhanced connectivity enabled by the Voalte system, caregivers execute their tasks efficiently and without wasted motion. Streamlined workflows equate to lives saved on both sides of the care spectrum. In fact, at one hospital, patient falls were reduced by as much as 67% after system installation. But even beyond the numbers, the Hillrom Voalte Nurse Call Station gives caretakers more time to do what they love — caring for patients.



IDEA Product Design Awards trophies

This international design competition is centered around encouraging and celebrating the best design of the year and excellence across a wide variety of industries and areas, ranging from home goods, consumer electronics, to medical devices. Every year, the product design awards grow dramatically, as evidenced by the sheer number of entries. To place in these awards means the products are positively impacting the lives of the end-users. For more information, visit IDSA.org/IDEA.


IDEA Product Design Awards are the result of THRIVE's deep collaboration with its clients

THRIVE is an award-winning, ISO 9001 certified product development and innovation strategy firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. We work with ambitious leaders to build brands and experiences that people love through Informed Design™. Our work gives leaders, teams, and organizations the courage and conviction to move confidently forward and design what’s next. You can find our innovations positively impacting lives in homes, hospitals, and businesses around the world.

For more information about THRIVE, please contact us, collaboration begins with a conversation. Learn more at thrivethinking.com.

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