Nurse Call System for UMass Memorial’s Temporary Field Hospital at DCU Center


In April of 2020, UMass Memorial Hospital converted a convention center in Worcester, MA, (DCU Center) to a field hospital to accommodate an overflow of COVID-19 patients. The UMass temporary hospital was created in a 50,000 sq.-ft exhibition hall with cube-type barriers separating patient spaces. No technology utilized in this field hospital could be permanently mounted.

Despite the unconventional setting, the quality of care needed to be top-notch, and that involved the use of a nurse call system. But could a nurse call solution be effectively implemented in this temporary setting?


A long-standing UMass Memorial Hospital partner, SIGNET was tapped to develop the right nurse call solution. Over the years, SIGNET has integrated high-end, wired nurse call solutions, as well as public address and master clock systems in both of UMass Memorial Hospital’s Worcester campuses and several satellite locations. UMass Memorial knew they could rely on SIGNET for a solution that worked.

For this unique setting, SIGNET opted to deploy RCare’s Rapid Deployment Kit nurse call system, a pre-programmed system designed to be used right out of the box. The Kit includes a touchscreen server, one pendant for each patient, and four pagers. Neither Internet connection nor phone lines are needed for the system.

Technical aspects of SIGNET’s installation included:

  • installing the server for the system
  • hanging locators on centrally located poles with tie wraps
  • plugging the server and paging encoder into a network switch with a patch cable.

Completing the project two days ahead of schedule, SIGNET’s field team installed the system overnight followed by testing the following morning.

Pendants were given to the staff for distribution to patients as they were admitted. The openness of the space proved to be a benefit for signal transmission, allowing calls to be initiated from a pendant and received the full length of the space.

Sean Grady, Unit Coordinator for UMass Memorial said this about the installation: “The RCare rollout was probably the best of any vendor rollout involved with the DCU project. From project management to technical install, it could not have gone any more smoothly. I can tell you that the nurse call system has worked great for us at the field hospital we have set up in Worcester.”


Posted on

June 22, 2020

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