Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Inova picks Spok mobile tech to reduce clinician alarm fatigue

William Payne
November 1, 2018


American secondary healthcare provider Inova Health System has chosen Spok to deliver a priority clinical alarm system.  The Spok Care Connect system reduces clinician alarm fatigue by delivering alarm notifications from nurse call and patient monitoring systems to clinicians' healthcare-grade mobile devices.

Inova is a five-hospital health system serving more than two million people each year from throughout the Washington, D.C.  metro area and beyond.  Spok clinical alerting is already fully deployed at Inova Fairfax Hospital, and is being rolled out systemwide over the next year, encompassing more than 2,500 users.

“We were already using Spok in a variety of ways for clinical communication within Inova, and we knew we had a solid, reliable platform to build on,” said Jill Briggs, RN, CPN, paediatrics project manager, at Inova Fairfax Hospital. “Across multiple critical care units, Spok enables us to take an enterprise approach to alarm management. We are preventing alarm fatigue with technology that adapts to our workflows to eliminate ‘nuisance alarms’ and improve patient safety.”

Spok clinical alerting integrates with Inova nurse call systems, Rauland Responder 5 and Hill-Rom NaviCare, as well as the patient monitoring network of bedside devices, which are primarily GE Healthcare. Spok enables Inova to have the flexibility to customise alarm management for each clinical unit. Assignment sync, patient identification, workflow rules, keyword logic, and unique tones for different patient events help ensure the right clinicians receive alerts that matter to them on Inova-issued Spectralink clinical smartphones. Automated escalations, audit trails, and analytics support timely response to patients in need.

“Spok works very well with the other systems our care teams use communicate,” said Rebecca Arthur, CPHIMS, ITIL, manager of biomedical information systems at Inova. “That level of interoperability means technology adapts to our workflows, rather than the other way around, and provides timely information to the caregiver in order to make more informed care decisions.”

Spok clinical alerts are received by Inova clinicians on Spectralink PIVOT 87-Series clinical smartphones. Inova selected Spectralink, a Spok partner, for the integration with Spok and its EHR system, Epic. 

“Inova has worked diligently to develop a unified communication system, and Spok is proud to be the platform that supports their vision,” said Vincent D. Kelly, chief executive officer of Spok, Inc. “Intelligent clinical alerting combats alarm fatigue and reduces clinician burnout, which are two top challenges for healthcare today.”