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Ideas That Work: A Better Way to Communicate? Roger That!
Walkie Talkie
RADIO SILENCE Staff members can use walkie-talkies to contact colleagues quickly and discreetly.

Staff at Eye 35 ASC in Schertz, Texas, make sure a team member in each department is always available on a walkie-talkie. The devices — used by pre-op and PACU nurses, surgical team members and runners who turn over rooms and restock supplies — are inexpensive and charge overnight in docking stations. Two-way communication is more efficient and discreet than shouting, texting or tracking down colleagues with numerous phone calls. “We can say the names of patients and easily ask about medical information without jeopardizing their privacy,” says Beth Sherwood, RN. “It also helps to keep nurses in the OR during procedures. If they need backup linens or a different instrument, they use the walkie-talkie to make the request and someone will be on the way immediately.” The walkie-talkies create a less distracting work environment and a more pleasant place for patients to have procedures done. They’re also an important piece of Eye 35’s emergency management plan, which requires an alternative way to communicate if primary systems fail during a crisis.