< Back to previous page


Probabilistic priority assessment of nurse calls

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Current nurse call systems are very static. Call buttons are fixed to the wall, and systems do not account for various factors specific to a situation. We have developed a software platform, the ontology-based Nurse Call System (oNCS), which supports the transition to mobile and wireless nurse call buttons and uses an intelligent algorithm to address nurse calls. This algorithm dynamically adapts to the situation at hand by taking the profile information of staff and patients into account by using an ontology. This article describes a probabilistic extension of the oNCS that supports a more sophisticated nurse call algorithm by dynamically assigning priorities to calls based on the risk factors of the patient and the kind of call. The probabilistic oNCS is evaluated through implementation of a prototype and simulations, based on a detailed dataset obtained from 3 nursing departments of Ghent University Hospital. The arrival times of nurses at the location of a call, the workload distribution of calls among nurses, and the assignment of priorities to calls are compared for the oNCS and the current nurse call system. Additionally, the performance of the system and the parameters of the priority assignment algorithm are explored. The execution time of the nurse call algorithm is on average 50.333 ms. Moreover, the probabilistic oNCS significantly improves the assignment of nurses to calls. Calls generally result in a nurse being present more quickly, the workload distribution among the nurses improves, and the priorities and kinds of calls are taken into account.
Journal: Medical Decision Making
ISSN: 0272-989X
Issue: 4
Volume: 34
Pages: 485 - 502
Publication year:2014