Team communication at its best

New communication challenges facing the NHS

19 May 2020


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians and their clinical teams are having to adapt to a new way of working. While the execution remains the same, the additional PPE requirements are making it difficult for surgeons and medical staff to communicate between each other during procedures.


Healthcare teams struggle to communicate with additional PPE

In addition to the usual PPE that physicians and their clinical teams usually wear in the operating room, there is now the additional full-face shields and powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses during Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs) to help protect staff against the virus.


This additional tight-fitting equipment makes communication particularly difficult during surgery. The intense and stressful environment – coupled with high ambient noise within the OR – makes clear communication challenging at the best of times. With the additional PPE, surgeons are finding it extremely difficult to communicate with their team, in an environment where miscommunication can be detrimental to both the staff and patient.


Medical staff and surgeons are concerned for their safety

It has been well publicised that medical staff in the UK are concerned about their safety. This is not necessarily for fear of infection, but the ability to carry out their work in a safe and effective manner while wearing fully enclosed PPE. As one of Quail Digital’s healthcare customers said “Safety is about good communication. It is essential that all staff are aware of the decisions being made. Headsets improve this process.”


As seen in the first episode of the BBC documentary ‘Hospital’, In some hospitals around the UK, the solution has been to use walkie talkies placed in plastic bags, whilst for others, staff are simply trying to shout through their equipment. It’s clear that a very important piece of their kit is missing.


Wireless headsets provide clear, discrete audio communication for clinical staff

The answer: A lightweight, hands-free digital communications solution that allows medical staff to communicate easily. Quail Digital’s wireless headsets allow clinicians, physicians and assistants to talk hands-free as a team, in Cath labs, EP labs and in the interventional OR.


Tom Downes, CEO at Quail Digital, said that the headsets are purpose-built for hospital use, to provide cutting-edge noise cancellation, crystal-clear sound and superior comfort. “Clear, reliable team communication in ITU and ORs is essential. Those wearing Level 3 PPE need wireless headsets to communicate with certainty” Downes said.


For the foreseeable future, surgeons and healthcare staff will need to be taking strict infection prevention and control measures to ensure they’re protected in surgery, but this shouldn’t come at the expense of clear and effective communication.


If you’re in the healthcare sector and wish to find out how Quail Digital’s Pro11 can help in your hospital, please submit an enquiry here.



If you’re in the healthcare sector and want to find out how
Quail Digital’s Pro11 can help in your hospital, please submit an
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