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Setting up and Managing Staff Allocation in Spok Messenger

The Staff Allocation feature is used to monitor and manage the event set up for a patient location. The types of events that can be monitored are sent from equipment used to monitor a patient’s functions, such as a blood pressure machine or a heart monitor.

The people who are contacted when an event is sent are determined by the staff contacts specified for the location, events, and staff role. When the event occurs, the system reviews the cascading set of contacts to determine to whom the event should be sent.

NOTE: Currently, this feature is available only when using an interface that is approved with Spok Messenger Staff Assignments.

The Staff Allocation feature requires you to set up locations, events, and event groups, and to assign the event groups to one or more staff roles. The staff roles can then be assigned to staff members. These functions work together to provide a seamless event notification system.

 

Staff Allocation Set Up Order

The Staff Allocation set up must be done in a specific order, as the items created build on each other.

Step 1: Create Locations

The location is a specific area in a hospital or a clinic, such as a room number or a bed in a room, in which an event may occur. A hierarchy of locations can be created and a contact or device may be selected for each location. When an event from a monitor occurs at that location, the staff specified to manage events for that location is notified.

The locations are created using a static hierarchy. As you create the hierarchy, the system automatically assigns the location type. The hierarchy drills down to a bed location:

Campus®Building®Unit®Room®Bed

The unit designation is used when creating staff member records. A staff member can be assigned to monitor a particular set of units.

 

Step 2: Create Event Types

An event type is a description of each type of event message that could be sent from monitoring equipment. For each event type you must also specify the text of the message that is sent to the staff member monitoring that event type.

Each event type should have a unique, regular expression, which is used to determine the event type when the message text from an incoming event is received by the system. The message text from an incoming event is parsed using the regular expression clauses until a matching event type is found. When an event of a specific type occurs at any location, the staff specified to manage events for that location is notified.

Step 3: Create Event Groups

An event group is used to unite the types of events that can be monitored by a person. For example, all blood pressure event types could be grouped, or heart monitor and fetal monitor event types could be grouped. The event groups can then be assigned to the staff role(s) responsible for monitoring those event types.

Step 4: Create Staff Roles

A staff role that is responsible for monitoring specific event groups can be created. For example, a Head Nurse role could be responsible for monitoring the Blood Pressure event group and a Cardiologist role for the Heart Monitor event group. The staff roles are then assigned to specific staff members.

When an event of a type included in the event group occurs, the staff member(s) assigned the staff role is notified. For example, if Dr. Julia Diaz is assigned the Cardiologist staff role, she is notified when a Heart Monitor event occurs.

Step 5: Create Staff Members

A staff member is a person who can be assigned a staff role and to a set of specific unit locations. In addition, up to three devices can be specified. When an event type assigned to the staff role is sent from a unit assigned to the staff member, the staff member receives the event notification on the devices specified.

Step 6: Create Staff Allocation

After the staff members have been created, the staff can be scheduled to monitor events for a location. The staff must be allocated for monitoring before any messages from the monitors can be sent to and received by the specified staff members.

NOTE: This process must be done using the Web Client interface.

How Do the Functions Work Together?

Each function (location, event type, event group, staff role, staff, and staff allocation) plays a part in notifying a contact that an event has occurred. More than one contact can be notified of an event, depending on where contacts have been defined.

When an event occurs on a monitor that has been registered with the Spok Messenger system, an event message is sent from the monitor to the system. The system determines the location from which the message was sent and also matches the event message to the regular expression specified for an event type.

The system then checks the hierarchy (location and event type, event group, staff role, staff members, and staff allocation) to verify who should be contacted about the event. Within the hierarchy, a device can be contacted from any of the following points:

Location

The device, group, escalation, or staff members assigned as static contacts for a location are notified of an event of any event type that occurs at that location.

Event Type

The device, group, escalation, or staff members assigned as static contacts for an event type are notified when an event of this type occurs at any location.

Staff Allocation

The device, group, escalation, or staff members allocated to cover a set of events at a particular location are notified when an event in particular location and event group combination occurs.

 

IMPORTANT: It is important to understand the hierarchy used in the staff allocation. The staff allocation relies on a combination of location(s) and a staff role assigned to a staff member. The staff role is associated with a set of event groups, which are assigned a set of event types.

For example, the Code Blue event type is assigned to the Codes event group, and the Codes event group is assigned to the Head Physician staff role. When Dr. Bill Kosloski is entered into the system as a staff member, the Head Physician staff role and the surgery unit location are assigned.

When a Code Blue event type occurs in the surgery unit location, the system rolls up the Code Blue event type to the Codes event group, which is rolled up to the Head Physician staff role. Any staff member assigned the Head Physician staff role and the surgery unit location AND who is also currently in the staff allocation schedule to be monitoring Code Blue events at that location is notified of the event.

 

Reviewing the Events

When an event occurs, it can be reviewed in the Active Event Actions form. The form displays the current events.

Location, Events, and Staff Set-up Example

The tables below illustrate an example of how a monitor event system could be set up.

 

Locations:

Location

Event Notification Recipient

Hospital Group

   Downtown Building

     Surgery Unit

Nurse Team Lead

Angie Diaz

Hospital Group

   Downtown Building

     Oncology Unit

Not specified

 

Event Types:

Event Type

Recipient

High Blood Pressure

Dr. Thomas Wilson

Low Blood Pressure

Not specified

Heart Rate

Cardiologist Supervisor

 

Event Groups:

Event Group

Event Types in the Event Group

Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure

Low Blood Pressure

Heart Rate

Heart Rate

Patient Well-Being

High Blood Pressure

Low Blood Pressure

Heart Rate

 

Staff Roles:

Staff Role

Event Groups Assigned to a Staff Role

Head Nurse

Blood Pressure

Heart Rate

Social Worker

Patient Well-Being

 

Member Allocation:

Staff Member

Staff Role Assigned to a Staff Member

Location Assigned to a Staff Member

Date and Time Allocated to Monitor Events from a Location

Susan Kosloski, RN

Head Nurse

Surgery Unit

Oncology Unit

December 12  7:00 am to 8:00 pm

Dr. Joan Smith

Cardiologist

Surgery Unit

December 12  8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Bob Pilson

Social Worker

Oncology Unit

December 12  7:00 pm to 11:30 pm

 

Using the information in the tables above the tables below show which contacts would be notified if a message was sent from a monitor and an event activated at 11:00 am on December 12th.

Location

Event Type that can be sent from a Monitor

Location

Event Notification Recipient

Event Types

Event Notification Recipient

Staff Allocation

Event Notification Recipient

(Location + Event Type)

Hospital Group

   Downtown Building

    Surgery Unit

High Blood Pressure

Nurse Team Lead

Angie Diaz

Dr. Thomas Wilson

Susan Kosloski, RN

 

Hospital Group

   Downtown Building

    Surgery Unit

Heart Rate

Nurse Team Lead

Angie Diaz

Cardiologist Supervisor

Dr. Joan Smith

 

Hospital Group

   Downtown Building

     Oncology Unit

Heart Rate

No one

(Location contacts not specified.)

Cardiologist Supervisor

No one

(No one assigned the Heart Rate event group for the Oncology unit is allocated at this time.)

 

Using the information in the tables above the tables below show which contacts would be notified if a message was sent from a monitor and an alarm activated at 7:30 pm on December 12th.

Location

Event Type that can be sent from a Monitor

Location

Event Notification Recipient

Event Types

Event Notification Recipient

Staff Allocation

Event Notification Recipient

(Location + Event Type)

Hospital Group

   Downtown Building

    Surgery Unit

High Blood Pressure

Nurse Team Lead

Angie Diaz

Dr. Thomas Wilson

Susan Kosloski, RN

 

Hospital Group

   Downtown Building

    Surgery Unit

Heart Rate

Nurse Team Lead

Angie Diaz

Cardiologist Supervisor

No one

(No one assigned the Heart Rate event group for the Surgery unit is allocated at this time.)

Hospital Group

   Downtown Building

     Oncology Unit

Heart Rate

No one

(Location contacts not specified.)

Cardiologist Supervisor

Bob Pilson

 

Entering Hospital Locations

The locations at a hospital site can be described in a locations record in the Locations form. The form includes a name for the location, an abbreviation for the location, a main identifier, additional identifiers that can be used to identify the location, recipients, hunt group information, and extension information.

NOTE: A recipient is a device entered in the Devices dialog.

Site Location Hierarchy

A hospital site can be set up using a hierarchy for the campus. The hierarchy drills down to a bed location:

Campus®Building®Unit®Room®Bed

To create a hierarchy, you must create the parent location first, which is the campus, and then select that campus location when you add the associated building locations. To add a unit to a building, select the building location before you add the next record.

For example, to create a new building in a campus, click the name of the campus location and then click New . To create a new unit within a building, click the name of the building location and then click New .

A hierarchy can be displayed in the dialog by clicking the plus sign next to the parent location.

M_Loc Hier.png

 

Creating a New Location

A new location can be created in the Locations form. If you are adding a location that is part of an existing hierarchy, remember to click on the parent record in the location list before you click New .

For example, to create a new building in a campus, click the name of the campus location and then click New . To create a new unit within a building, click the name of the building location and then click New .

  1. Choose Edit > Locations. The Locations dialog displays, showing a list of the current locations in the left-hand side of the dialog.
  2. Choose a location from the location list if the new location should be associated with an existing location. For example, to create a new building in a campus, click the name of the campus location. To create a new unit within a building, click the name of the building location.

  3. Click New.
    NOTE: The entry in the Type field is the next level in the location hierarchy. The type is assigned by the system and cannot be changed.
    M_New Loca.png

  4. In the Name field, enter a descriptive name for the location.

  5. In the Abbreviation field, enter a shortened name for the location, if one is commonly used.
  6. In the Main Identifier field, enter identifying information for the location.
  7. In the Additional Identifiers field, enter any additional identifiers. Additional identifiers are other names that can identify the location that is being entered. For example, if the Emergency Department is also called the ER, the Emergency Room, and the Emergency Wing, these identifiers can be added to the system so the location can be easily identified regardless of what name for the location is being used to search.

 

Adding Additional Identifiers

  1. Click the Add button. The Location Identifier dialog displays.
  2. In the field, enter a name for the additional identifier.
  3. Click OK. The additional identifier displays in the Locations dialog.
    NOTE: Please note that additional identifiers can be added. To add additional identifiers, perform the steps outlined in the section above.

 

Editing Additional Identifiers

  1. From the list of additional identifiers, choose the identifier you would like to edit. The identifier becomes highlighted.
  2. Click Edit. The Location Identifier dialog displays, showing the information for the additional identifier in the field.
  3. Make any desired changes.
  4. Click OK. The changes to the identifier display in the Locations dialog.

 

Deleting Additional Identifiers

  1. In the Locations dialog, choose the additional identifier you would like to delete. The identifier becomes highlighted
  2. Click Delete. The identifier is automatically deleted.
  1. In the EMR Identifier field, enter the EMR identifier or naming convention. This is the EMR location which will be used in the Patient Repository service. If Patient Repository service is unavailable, leave this blank.
    NOTE: This Identifier will only be used to query patient information from Patient Repository service. For more information on installing Patient Repository, see Installing the Patient Repository Service.
  2. From the Recipient #1, Recipient #2, and Recipient #3 list boxes, choose the contacts that should be notified of an event at this location.
  3. In the Hunt Group field, enter the hunt group string used when connecting to phone systems to perform a callback. 
  4. In the Extension field, enter the extension used (after the hunt group) when connecting to a phone system to perform a callback.

  5. After all desired information is added, click Save . The new location is added to the list in the left-hand side of the dialog.

    NOTE: If a location from the list was selected before the new location was created, the new location is displayed as a child record of the location.

 

Updating a Location

Changes can be made to a location if needed.

  1. From the location list, select the location that you want to update. The information for the locations displays.
  2. Make desired changes to the location. Note that the entry in the Type field cannot be changed.
  3. Click Save. If a change was made to the entry in the Name field, that change displays in the location list.

 

Removing a Location

A location can be removed. Note that if a location has associated records, the child records must be deleted first.

  1. From the location list, select the location that you want to remove.
  2. The next step in the deletion process depends on whether the location has associated records.

 

Removing a Location that DOES NOT have Child Records

  1. Select the location you want to delete.
  2. Click Delete. A warning message displays.

 

Removing a Location that DOES have Child Records

  1. Choose the location you want to delete.
  2. Click Delete. The Deleting Locations with Links dialog displays. The child records associated with the selected record display in the Links section. The child records must be deleted before the parent record can be deleted.
  3. Click on a location in the Linked Locations section.
  4. Click the Delete button. The selected location is deleted.
  5. Repeat the process until locations no longer display in the Links section. When the last link has been deleted, the location in the Linked Locations section is automatically deleted and the Deleting Locations with Links dialog is closed.

 

Entering Staff Roles

A staff role is a job title for a person that manages a particular set of event groups.

For example, the Nurse (Drip) role can include the Drips event group. A Head Nurse role can include the Blood Pressure and Heart Rate event groups.

Creating a Staff Role

A staff role is a job title for a person that manages a particular set of event groups.

NOTE: Event groups must be created before a staff role can be created.

  1. Choose Edit|Staff Roles. The Staff Roles dialog displays.
  2. Click New to clear the dialog so a new staff role can be created.
  3. In the Role Name field, enter a descriptive name for the staff role.
  4. In the Abbreviation field, enter a shortened version of the name.
  5. In the Description field, enter a short description of the job duties for the role.
  6. Specify the event groups that should be monitored by this staff role.
  7. From the list box next to the Add button, select an event group.
  8. Click Add. The event group is added to the Event Groups Handled field.
  9. Repeat the process to add additional event groups.
  10. Click Save to save the new staff role.

 

Editing a Staff Role

A staff role can be changed if needed.

  1. From the staff role list on the left, select the staff role that you want to change. The fields in the dialog are populated with information about the staff role.
  2. Make changes as needed.
  3. Click Save to save the changes.

 

Adding an Event Group to a Staff Role

Choose Edit|Staff Role. The Staff Roles dialog displays.

  1. From the staff role list on the left, select the staff role that you want to add an event group to. The fields in the dialog are populated with information about the staff role.
  2. From the drop down menu, choose the event you would like to add to the staff role.
  3. Click Add. The event is added to the staff role.
  4. Click Save to save the changes to the staff role.

Deleting an Event Group in a Staff Role

  1. From the staff role list on the left, select the staff role from which you that you want to delete an event group. The fields in the dialog are populated with information about the staff role.
  2. Choose a type from the Event Groups Handled field.
  3. Click the Remove button below the field. The event is deleted from the staff role.

  4. Click Save to save the changes to the staff role.

 

Deleting a Staff Role

A staff role that is no longer needed can be deleted. Note that if the staff role is assigned to a staff member, you must remove the staff role from the staff member before you can delete the staff role.

  1. From the staff role list on the left, select the staff role that you want to remove.
  2. The next step in the deletion process depends on whether the staff role is assigned to a staff member.

Removing a Staff Role that is NOT Assigned to a Staff Member

  1. Click Delete. A warning message displays.
  2. Click Yes. The event group is deleted and the Event Groups dialog is updated.

 

Removing a Staff Role that IS Assigned to a Staff Member

  1. Click Delete. The Deleting Staff Roles with Links dialog displays.
  2. Click on a staff member in the Links section.
  3. Click the Delete button.
  4. Repeat the process until staff members no longer display in the Links section. When the last staff member is deleted, the staff role group is automatically deleted and the Staff Roles dialog is updated and redisplayed.

 

Creating Staff Members

Information about the staff members that can be allocated to monitor events must be entered as part of the Staff Allocation feature. These members can be selected from the Spok Messenger Web Client when performing the staff allocation.

Staff Member Log in Name and Password

For each staff member, you can specify a user log in name and password. These can be used by the staff member to log in to the Web Client. You can also specify the screen that should be displayed when the staff member logs in.

When you save the record, a dialog displays in which you are asked to re-type the password to verify it.

Staff Member Devices

Up to three devices can be specified for each staff member. These devices are used to notify the staff member of an event, according to the time delay specified for the event type. One delay period for each of the devices can be specified for each event type.

For example, you can specify the following: contact the staff member’s primary device 1 minute after the event occurs, the secondary device 3 minutes after the primary device is contacted, and the third device 3 minutes and 30 seconds after the secondary device was contacted.

When an event occurs of a type that is assigned to the staff member and from a location being monitored by the staff member, the staff member’s primary device is contacted 1 minute after the event occurs. Three minutes after that (4 minutes total after the event occurred), the secondary device is contacted. Three minutes and 30 seconds after the second device is contacted (7 minutes and 30 seconds total after the event occurred), the tertiary device is contacted.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When entering device information in the Devices dialog, the Assign to Staff Member option must be selected to ensure that the device can be selected when assigning devices to a staff member.

A device that is permanently assigned to the staff member can be specified by choosing the Permanent Assignment option for the device.

Staff Role and Location Units

One staff role can be assigned to a staff member. The staff role determines which event groups (and subsequently which event types) can be monitored by a staff member. For example, a cardiologist could be assigned the Lead Cardiologist staff role.

You can also specify the location units that can be monitored by the staff member. For example, a staff member that could be assigned to monitor the Heart Rate event group in the Cardiology Unit. If a Heart Rate event group event occurs in the Cardiology Unit, the staff member could be notified. However, if a Heart Rate event occurs in the Pediatrics Unit, the staff member would not be notified because the Pediatrics Unit is not assigned to the member.

Staff Allocation Option

The Staff Allocation option is used to specify whether the staff member can be available for staff allocation in the Web Client. If this option is not selected, the staff member cannot be selected in the Web Client.

 

Creating a Staff Member

One record should be created for each staff member.

  1. Choose Edit|Staff. The Staff dialog displays.
  2. Click New. The dialog is cleared so new information can be entered.
  3. In the Last Name field, enter the staff member’s last name.
  4. In the First Name field, enter the staff member’s first name.
  5. In the User Name field, enter the staff member’s Web Client log in name.
  6. In the Password field, enter the staff member’s Web Client log in password. When you save the record, a dialog displays in which you are asked to re-type the password to verify it.
  7. From the Startup Dialog list box, select the screen that should display when the user logs into the Web Client.
  8. In the Local ID field, the system automatically assigns a unique, four-digit identification number. This number can be manually changed if needed, but remember the number must be unique. If it is not unique, the record cannot be saved. Please note that a Local ID can include up to 10 numbers. In addition, leading zeros can be used.
  9. Choose the User Enabled option to allow the user to log in. This option should be selected to allow temporary disabling of user accounts while still retaining the user’s settings.
  10. Choose the Receive Popups option if incoming dialer client events cause the dialer client event screen to pop up.
  11. Choose the Show advanced option if you would like to show advanced information.
  12. Specify the devices for the staff member. Remember that only the devices that have the Assign to Staff Member option selected in the Devices dialog are available.
    1. From the Primary Device list box, choose the first device on which a staff member should be notified of an event.
    2. From the Secondary Device list box, choose the second device on which a staff member should be notified of an event.
    3. From the Tertiary Device list box, choose the third device on which a staff member should be notified of an event.
    4. For each device that is permanently assigned to a staff member, select the Permanent Assignment option.
  13. Choose the Staff Allocation option if this staff member should be able to be selected in the Staff Allocation screen from the Web Client. If this option is not selected, the staff member cannot be selected in the Web Client.  NOTE: When you select this option, the Staff Role list box becomes available.
  14. From the Staff Role list box, select a staff role for this staff member. Only one can be selected.
  15. Specify the location units that this staff member should be able to monitor.
  16. Click Edit Units. The Units assigned to Username dialog displays.
  17. Select a unit from the Units list.
  18. Click the right arrow button. The unit is moved to the Units assigned to this user window.
  19. Repeat the process until all desired units have been selected.
  20. A unit can be removed from the assigned units list by selecting a unit in the list and clicking the left arrow button. The unit is moved back to the Units window.
  21. Click the OK button when the selection is complete. The dialog is closed and the Units field is populated with the selected units.
  22. Click Save to save the staff member record. If you entered a password, the Please confirm password dialog displays.
  23. Enter the staff member log in password. The entry must match the entry made in the Password field.
  24. Click OK. The dialog is closed and the Staff information is saved.
  25. The devices specified for the staff member can be tested to ensure that the devices are working and can receive a message by clicking the Test button.

 

Testing Devices

The devices assigned to a staff member can be tested to ensure that the devices are able to receive a message. When you click Test , a test message is sent to all of the devices specified for the staff member.

When the test message is sent, the Message Status screen automatically displays to show the number of messages sent and the success or failure of the message.

  1. From the list of staff members, select the member that has the devices you want to test.
  2. Click Test. A message is sent by the system to all of the devices selected for the staff member. The Message Status screen automatically displays to show the number of messages sent and the success or failure of the message.
  3. Click Close to close the screen.

 

Editing a Staff Member

The information about a staff member can be updated as needed.

NOTE: The staff member identification number in the Local ID field can be changed, however, note that the entry must be unique. If it is not unique, the record cannot be saved.

  1. From the list of staff members, select the member that you want to edit. The information for that staff member displays in the field.
  2. Make the changes as needed. Remember that the staff member identification number in the Local ID field must be unique.
  3. Click Save to save the changes.

 

Deleting a Staff Member

A staff member can be removed from the database if needed. The staff member cannot be removed if the member is allocated in the Web Client for a current or future date. The allocation must be removed before the staff member can be deleted.

  1. From the list of staff members, select the member that you want to delete.
  2. The next step in the deletion process depends on whether the staff member is assigned to an allocation in the Web Client.

Removing a Staff Member that is NOT Allocated

  1. Click Delete. A warning message displays.
  2. Click Yes. The staff member is deleted and the Staff dialog is updated.