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Robust Hospital Communications System Helps Manage the First MERS Case in U.S.
[May 20, 2014]

Robust Hospital Communications System Helps Manage the First MERS Case in U.S.

MT. PROSPECT, Ill. --(Business Wire)--

Sophisticated reporting software played a critical role in managing the first infectious MERS case in the U.S. earlier this month at Community Hospital in Munster, IN. Once the possibility of a MERS infection was recognized, hospital staff were able to quickly institute isolation protocols and begin working with the CDC and state health department.

Identification and Isolation

"By being able to quickly identify the hospital staff that interacted with the patient, we could know immediately which staff not only had contact but for how long," said Chief Nursing Officer Ronda McKay. "From the time the patient arrived at the Emergency Department to the time they were isolated, we had the data we needed to act quickly."

The hospital was able to immediately provide the CDC with robust data available from its nurse call software, Rauland Responder® 5, which did identify the providers who came into contact with the patient and who should be tested. Integrated with the staff's RTLS badges, the nurse call reports could provide the identity of every staff member that cared for the patient and how much time they spent with the patient.

"We could tell down to the second how long they were in cotact with the patient, and how long they were in the room, and provide that data to the CDC," said McKay.

Responder software delivers extensive additional reporting that can help hospitals track and analyze key performance data related to workflow, staff performance, and resulting care. The global leader in nurse call systems, Rauland Responder helps hospitals achieve better care with scalable solutions that improve communications as well as patient and staff safety.

"Every person who had contact with the index (infected) patient has been tested, and they all have tested negative," Chief Medical Information Officer Dr. Alan Kumar, of Community Hospital, told a news conference. Dr. Kumar said that data is giving the CDC unprecedented ability to study how much exposure to an infected individual it takes before the virus can be transmitted. In the SARS outbreak, for example, Dr. Kumar said that exposure time was about 10 minutes before a person was at risk.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

The U.S. patient is a healthcare worker who had been working in Saudi Arabia before traveling to Indiana via Chicago. The patient arrived at the emergency room at Community Hospital with severe respiratory systems and was admitted the same day in isolation.

A viral respiratory disease, MERS was first isolated in the Mid East in 2012 and more than 400 people in 12 countries have now been reported. 93 have died, according to the CDC. There is no available vaccine or treatment currently.

About Community Hospital

A 427-bed acute care hospital in Munster, Indiana, Community Hospital offers a broad range of healthcare services as part of the Community Healthcare System, Northwest Indiana's largest integrated healthcare system. See

About Rauland Responder®

Serving more than one million acute care beds in 40 countries, Rauland Responder® communication and nurse call systems help hospital staff deliver the best possible patient care, with fast, direct patient-to-staff communication, flexible integration, intelligent call routing and real-time reporting. Responder helps gather data real-time for easier decision-making, optimized workflow and enhanced patient care and satisfaction. For more information, visit

About Communication Company of South Bend

A U.S. distributor of Rauland-Borg based in South Bend, Communications Company designs, installs and services communications technology systems across Indiana. Its 24-hour service capabilities range from needs assessment and installation to training and ongoing support. See

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