Why would medical teams want to adopt the use of authority TETRA radios? The bulky radios which police officers or fire and rescue personnel use?
And even if they did want to adopt those radios, where to start and how to go about it?
There are many benefits of group radio communications in a hospital, such as being able to alert a whole trauma team in seconds instead of spending 15 minutes making individual mobile calls to each member.
Group communication on TETRA radios can really help hospitals work faster and more efficiently. What's more, adopting TETRA radios would mean more reliable service than commercial mobile networks.
So - you work in a hospital and want to start using TETRA but don’t know where to start. Here are the steps to get you going.
First check radio coverage
Before you dive straight in, make sure first you’ve got good coverage for the radios you plan to use. To be on the safe side, you should test it with the exact same radios you’ll be using.
Now you’ve got that sorted, what’s first on the list?
Tip 1: Get users’ input
Make sure everyone who will be using the system knows what they want from it. The different departments, IT/telecoms staff, the head of security and a senior physician - they all need to give you their input.
Tip 2: Choose your radios
For hospital staff, small is beautiful – they prefer carrying it in their pockets, so choose a slim one that’s convenient and easy to carry. There are also hybrid (or dual-mode) devices which work both as a smartphone and as a TETRA radio.
Tip 3: Plan first, then do it
Plan, plan and plan - processes, groups, status messages and other communication tools your staff will use. All the communication groups are then configured into radios and delivered to the hospital.
Tip 4: Train your users
Keep it simple and practical – some may have very limited or no previous experience with group-based radio communication. Users need to be told that this is a phone, not something dangerous. Following training, users should be confident they can use the phone, backed up by a simple guidebook or poster.
Tip 5: Run a pilot
To prepare for the real thing, consider running a pilot. A three to six month pilot scheme will help you iron out any issues and get ideas on how to improve the system. After this, the normal maintenance phase can begin.
Follow these five tips - and back them up with a well-defined management structure. You can bring the benefits of reliable TETRA group communications into your hospital smoothly and efficiently.
Not sure if radio communication is right for you?
Communication over TETRA has helped save lives around the world, but still people have wrong ideas about it. Real-life experiences in hospitals have busted common myths about TETRA radio communication in medical care.
Learn the truth from this myth-busting guide on 5 wrong ideas about TETRA in hospitals: