Crowdfunding a Solution to the Beeping?

Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 6.46.01 PM

Every since my mom showed me the Intelligent Hospital display at HIMSS, I have been trying to think of how I could get that Vocera thing into my hospital. If you don’t know what Vocera does, it is a device that nurses wear around their neck, and it allows direct communication to the right person. For example, my infusions of IVIG is very thick so the IV beeps a LOT. Instead of it beeping to me in my room, it could beep straight tot he nurse who could either answer it herself or ask another nurse to look into it with a push of a single button. This means that I would get response without the normal way it is today.

In case you haven’t been in the hospital, this is how it works – at least at my hospital.

Beep, Beep. Beep – the IV beeps to say that it has a problem
I push the Nurse call button on the remote.
My mom gets up and pushes the silence button on the IV pump.
The attendant (not really sure who this person is but it isn’t my nurse) says, “Can I help you?”
I say, “my IV is beeping.” Sometimes they can’t hear me and we have to do this part a few times.
My mom keeps pushing silence every 2 minutes – sometimes the nurse comes quickly but other times it can be 10 minutes or more depending on what they are doing.
The nurse comes in and messes with the machine and it is happy.
She turns of the call light.

Sometimes, this can happen 5 or 6 times in an hour, and sometimes it doesn’t happen at all. I would guess that it happens at least 25 times in 24 hours – maybe more. It also happens when each infusion is completed. So, they hang one med and when it is finished, it beeps, They hang another, and when it finishes it beeps.

So, I learned about this Vocera device and it sounds heavenly. I spoke to them,and it is pretty expensive to get for my hospital, but I was thinking about trying to do a crowdfunding campaign to buy it for my hospital. What do you think? Do you think I could raise $25,000? Would you be willing to help find people to donate or donate yourself? Should I make tshirts and sell them or something? What ideas do you have?

Lab Draws at the Hospital

Do lab draws really need to be done so early? My mom was in the hospital last week, and the guy came to draw her blood at 6am each day. The first few days, the guy would knock once and then turn on the full lights in the room. I mean bright lights. One day, my mom was startled when the lights came on and said “turn out the lights.” The guy said something like “I think you want me to be able to see when I stick a needle in your arm.” A new guy came the last few days and he was much nicer about the lights. He turned them on but he tried to give my mom warning first. My mom was talking to him about how early it is, and he said that he starts at 4am waking people up to get labs. He said that it is his least favorite part of his job. He likes the rest but he doesn’t like waking people up.

He said that he has to come so early because some doctors want the results by 7am rounds. But, my mom’s doctor never came in before 3pm each day. He wasn’t reviewing the results until he came in the room either because he looked them up in the room.

So, my question is, could there be a different way? Is it necessary? Could only the critical ones be done so early? Or maybe only the ones who have a doctor who comes early? Any other ideas?

Food at the Hospital


My mom was in the hospital last week, and I was really surprised by the way that they served food to her. At my hospital, they let me pick what I want to eat and when I want to eat it. I think the hours are 6 in the morning until 11pm. I don’t feel well a lot of the time that I am there, so it is really nice that they let me order what sounds good to me at that moment and to order when I feel like eating. 

My mom had food delivered at 7am, 11:30am, and 5:30pm. Seriously, who eats dinner at 5:30 at night? And I would miss almost every meal if they brought it to me at 7 and lunch at 11:30. When I don’t feel well, i try to sleep as much as possible and don’t want to eat in the morning. 

My mom could ask for things like pudding, jello, and chicken broth from her nurses. She wasn’t really able to eat much when she was there anyway, but I couldn’t help thinking about the people who are hungry and don’t have the choice. Also, when the did ask what she wanted, they asked her the day before. When you are sick, how do you know what you will feel like eating the next day?

As you know, I think sleep is really important to getting well. I also think eating is important to getting well. My mom posted about this on twitter and it seems some other places are like my hospital but that a lot are still like this one.

What are your experiences? Do you think it is important to let the patient say when and what they eat?