This is a common question for facilities looking to procure a new nurse call system. There are advantages and disadvantages to both and knowing which is suitable for your facility can help inform the process. People often think that wireless is better because it gives you more flexibility, mobility and saves on the cost for physical wiring. While these points are true, wireless systems have significant drawbacks such as reliability, security, and battery management. We have put together a few questions that could help guide your decision.
Is Your Facility Undergoing New Construction Or Being Retrofitted?
It isn’t absolute, but if your project is a new construction project, wired is the way to go. If the solution is being retrofitted, wireless is your best option because running new wiring can be costly and time-intensive. Something to consider – even wireless systems have some wiring requirements that may or may not be included in your system build.
Is There A Plan For System Management/Maintenance?
Once a hardwired system is installed, future costs of operation generally stay consistent. There are additional cost considerations with wireless systems, including batteries, licensing for access points, and additional components for the system. Software upgrades and associated fees are another thing to think about. Over the life of the system those can really add up. With a wired system, the devices are simpler, more cost-effective, and less likely to be damaged.
How Important Is Reliability?
You don’t want the first time you find out that a pullcord or call button isn’t working to be when you need to press it. Wired systems provide higher reliability by their general nature. With wireless, it is possible that you can have interference, range issues, or low battery problems. Even changes in weather can impact radio frequency signals.
Do You Plan To Reconfigure Patient Rooms Often?
In this case, wireless could be much more beneficial if you make changes to the rooms' layout or need extra flexibility within the space to manage device locations easily.
Which call system is ultimately the best depends on your facility and your needs. Both solutions have a place in the market and serve specific needs. The bottom-line seems to be that if you can choose wired, go wired. If you have extenuating circumstances that make that a problem, such as the need for reconfigurations in rooms or challenges with wiring, wireless may be the best choice.