May 4, 2020

Communication without contamination: How Northern Health is protecting our health care workers

Communication is very important in any emergency, however as Dr Loren Sher, Head of Paediatric Emergency points out, with COVID -19, there’s the added challenge of contamination from our communication devices. ‘How to maintain effective and critical communication between staff without the risk of contamination?’ was the problem that Dr Sher put to some friends in business and IT.

“They linked me in to the technology team at HESTA. When HESTA heard we were trying to solve a problem related to COVID-19, they not only helped us with the solution, but also donated the equipment we would need to run the solution,” says Dr Sher.

HESTA donated ten Plantronics Bluetooth headsets and one laptop to facilitate hands-free and team communication in the emergency department, while managing patients with suspect or proven COVID-19.

Says Dr Dean Pritchard, Emergency Physician and Deputy Director of Emergency, “Hands free communication will make a positive impact on the safety of doctors and nurses during COVID-19. Using these devices, we will no longer be required to touch our faces using the portable phones, feeling confident to take phone calls between managing our COVID-19 patients. Communication is central to our pandemic response, and this generous donation will certainly improve the safety of our frontline clinicians.”

Dr Sher says, “On behalf of Northern Health, I would like to thank Stephen Reilly, Chief Operating Officer, Neil Saxton, Chief Partnership Officer, Sheena Peeters, General Manager- Technology, Uday Jagasia, Technology Business Partner, from HESTA and Prue Munro,  ZOOM Customer Manager, for their generous donation and ready support.”