Communications technology vendor Rauland-Borg, Mt. Prospect, Ill., says its Rauland Responder 5 nurse call platform helped manage the first confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) at c, Munster, Ind.

Once the possibility of a MERS infection was recognized, hospital staff were able to quickly institute isolation protocols and begin working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state health department.

“By being able to quickly identify the hospital staff who interacted with the patient, we could know immediately which staff not only had contact but for how long,’ said Chief Nursing Officer Ronda McKay. “From the time the patient arrived at the emergency department to the time they were isolated, we had the data we needed to act quickly.”

Rauland-Borg said the hospital was able to immediately provide the CDC with data available from its nurse call software, which identified the providers who came into contact with the patient and who should be tested. Integrated with the staff’s RTLS badges, the nurse call reports provided the identity of every staff member who cared for the patient and how much time they spent with the patient.

“We could tell down to the second how long they were in contact with the patient, and how long they were in the room, and provide that data to the CDC,” said McKay.

The hospital's Chief Medical Information Officer, Alan Kumar, M.D., said every caregiver who came in contact with the patient tested negative. Kumar said that data is giving the CDC the ability to study how much exposure to an infected individual it takes before the virus can be transmitted. In the SARS outbreak of 2003, for example, Kumar said that exposure time was about 10 minutes before a person was at risk.

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