Integrating Bluetooth data and audio capabilities into a two-way radio device creates the perfect storm of advanced technology, customer insights and engineering.
While people often associate Bluetooth features with mobile phone usage, it is actually widely used throughout many industries to accomplish other enterprise-critical work. When Bluetooth technology is paired with our new MOTOTRBO digital radios, it changes how people work, making hands-free, wireless communications possible in industries from manufacturing to hospitality.
- Headset Profile (HSP) – This is the most traditional use, where a Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) headset or operations critical wireless earpiece equipped with remote PTT can be wirelessly connected to the radio to act as the device’s audio input and output mechanism.
In the scenario below, a PTT press of the Bluetooth mission critical wireless earpiece sends audio to the Bluetooth-connected radio over the radio link to a remote mobile radio:
- Personal Area Network (PAN) Profile – The radio supports a PAN access point and provides IPv4-based networking capabilities for the connected Bluetooth devices (e.g. PC).
In the scenario below, the MOTOTRBO radios provide the standard IP networking data communication over the Bluetooth PAN connection between the two connected PCs:
Does your aging communications solution have you thinking about what’s next? When it comes to unified communications, analog radios have long been a reliable option, but today, digital two-way radios offer a range of benefits that make them the undeniable next step. Here’s why it makes sense to upgrade now.
Next-Level Efficiency and Productivity
Remember when you had to carry around multiple devices, one dedicated to email, one for phone calls, and a laptop for business applications? Today, smartphones combine the best features from each device. But smartphones are not always the best solution on the job and where they fall short, digital two-way radios pick up for reliable, unified communication and collaboration.
With WAVE™ Workgroup Communications, workers can instantly communicate with one-button push-to-talk access across any device ranging from two-way radios, smartphones and landlines to intercoms and PCs. So, someone using a smartphone off-site can instantly communicate with an employee using MOTOTRBO, onsite. Since data and voice features are all on one device, both management and employees can receive real-time information, the location of people and assets, and other critical data that drives much more informed decision-making, previously not possible on analog.
The Basics, Evolved
Moving to a digital network also offers some exciting advances to core communications functionality, including better voice quality, increased radio capacity, better signal coverage, and longer battery life.
Just like the jump from cellular phones to the modern smartphone, the jump to digital two-way radios allows users to hear and be heard much more clearly, without static or distortion. This is because when you use a traditional analog radio, every sound that's picked up by the microphone is transmitted. Digital offers much clearer sound, with features such as background noise-cancellation and intelligent audio. The result is extraordinary voice clarity that stays sharper, even as the signal gets farther out of range.
Digital networks are also very efficient with spectrum requirements, so they can accommodate two completely separate "channels" in one 12.5 kHz channel, allowing you to double the number of devices on the same channel, without fear of interference.
Plus, because digital technology is more energy-efficient than analog, MOTOTRBO radios can last much longer on a single charge, up to 40% longer, so users can communicate the entire day without recharging.
BENEFITS OF MOTOROLA REMOTE SPEAKER MICROPHONES (RSMs)
Two-way radio offers users reliable, instantaneous communications and the addition of a Remote Speaker
Microphone (RSM) can make a portable radio even easier, safer and more effective to use. Motorola radios
are built to withstand knocks and bumps, but keeping the radio on the belt helps protect it from the drops
and misuse that can occur when users hold the radio in their hand. Using an RSM allows the user to make
and receive calls without the need to remove the radio from their belt, leaving their hands free to hold guard
rails, climb ladders, carry equipment or operate machinery. The RSM clips to a collar or epaulette making it
easy to access when needed and since the speaker is then closer to the user’s ear, it’s easier to hear calls
so helps prevent missed messages
One of the most interesting things about working at Motorola Solutions is hearing from its engineers and designers, the magicians who conjure up new ways to invent or improve devices and solutions that end up delighting our customers and capturing design awards. Today, Product Engineer David Chambers will talk about his adventures with the APX radio platform.
Trucking company Wentworth Carrying, using mobile phones to communicate
between drivers and with head office was creating headaches. Calls were expensive,
as well as impossible during certain activities such as loading and unloading times.
Texting was inconvenient: texts were delayed if the phone was out of range and
drivers had to pull over to text, wasting time and effort.
The new solution, combining Motorola CP200D portable two-way radios operating
on TL Parker’s Connect Plus (Orion Network) has revolutionised communications
for the business. Drivers, even those who found hands-free too challenging,
readily embraced the easy functionality of the new radios. Owner-operator Angela
Chambers is thrilled by cost savings, increased productivity and greater operational
The difference is so immense that Chambers compares it to “like going from being
mute to being able to talk”
FASTER EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT COMMUNICATIONS INCREASE PATIENT SATISFACTION HOW MOTOROLA TWO-WAY DTR550
INCREASE PATIENT SATISFACTION
HOW MOTOROLA TWO-WAY DTR550 RADIOS ENABLE RUTLAND REGIONAL
MEDICAL CENTER’S EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT TO STREAMLINE FRONT END
OPERATIONS AND INCREASE PATIENT SATISFACTION.
MOTOROLA TWO-WAY RADIOS
RUTLAND REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
SIGNIFICANT PATIENT SERVICE
CHALLENGES IN THE ED WERE CAUSING
A SERIOUS DETERIORATION IN PATIENT
Rutland Regional Medical Center’s Emergency
Department (ED) had been using a patchwork system
of communications. With only a few technicians having
cell phones, communications consisted mainly of using
overhead paging or physically tracking down personnel
as quickly as possible. This resulted in service slowdowns,
less-than-optimum use of personnel and
resources and longer waits for treatment by physicians
or physicians’ assistants. The result was a substantial
deterioration of patient satisfaction scores. One of
the department’s highest priorities became improving
satisfaction rates, beginning with streamlining
patient service and care through better and faster
communications between nurses, technicians and staff.
IMPROVED COMMUNICATIONS BY
EQUIPPING THE ED TEAM WITH
MOTOROLA TWO-WAY DTR550 RADIOS
WITH PUSH-TO-TALK CAPABILITIES.
Understanding that the key to improving patient
service was to significantly improve communications,
and drawing on past experience, the new Emergency
Department director installed a new communications
system featuring powerful, affordable Motorola DTR550
radios operating in the 900 MHz ISM spectrum, and
offering instant push-to-talk capabilities and comfortable
swivel earpieces. Radios were provided for nurses,
technicians and staff, enabling the department to create
talkgroups that allowed for private, secure and virtually
SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS IN
THE TIME IT TAKES TO BE SEEN BY A
PHYSICIAN HELPED THE ED IMPLEMENT
“IMMEDIATE BEDDING” AND INCREASE
With personnel quickly adapting to and embracing the
new two-way radio communications, service in the ED
has significantly improved. Talkgroups facilitating one-tomany
communications help ensure fast response—from
Level 1 chest pain to Level 5 broken digit. Personnel can
respond directly to the group, indicating their status and
availability. This improved communication, coordination
and more efficient use of resources helps eliminate
wasted time, enabling the ED to optimize front end
operations. The two-way radio system also helps make it
possible to implement the concept of immediate bedding,
the ability to assign a bed to patients as soon as they
enter the ED. As patient service has been streamlined,
patient satisfaction has greatly improved.
“I’ve watched them. A tech can have a catheter in one
hand and reach up with the other to hit PTT and say,
‘I’m just starting a line,’ then another tech can chime in
and say ‘I’ll be able to come and put in that IV for you.’”
- Thomas Rounds, Director, Emergency Department, Rutland Regional Medical Center
RUTLAND REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
methodology, in which a patient is first placed in triage
to be checked by a technician or nurse before being sent
to the next available bed to be seen by a doctor.
“Going in the triage booth is just a stopping off point
and in most cases, a waste of time,” says Rounds.
“With immediate bedding, we begin to observe and
triage patients the moment they walk in the door, then
send them to an available bed right away, enabling
them to be seen by a doctor faster.” Across the
country, immediate bedding programs have proven
to be exceptionally successful at reducing the time
the patient stays in the ED, while at the same time,
The hospital’s Emergency Department treats about 100
patients a day, which can substantially increase during
ski season. With 26 beds and four trauma rooms, the
department has 24 physicians and a staff of 64. The ED
has earned a reputation for excellent care, exceeding
for example, national guidelines for heart treatment and
stabilization. In the national hospital satisfaction index,
however, the department showed considerable weakness
in the area of patient service. Patient satisfaction ratings
were in the bottom quartile.
EFFICIENCY AND FLOW
In the past, patient perceptions of the ED had been,
essentially, ones of “good care, not-so-good service.”
The department set about to turn those perceptions
around, based largely on Studer evidence-based
tools and tactics, Lean Sigma management concepts
and improving process efficiency and flow. Says new
Emergency Department Director Thomas Rounds,
“We had two fundamental goals. First, to increase
throughput by reducing the length of stay, and second,
to reduce the time between patient arrival and
examination by a doctor or physician’s assistant.”
One of the best strategies for improving ED patient
satisfaction is the implementation of “immediate
bedding” practices that help streamline front end
activities, that is, the flow from arrival to examination to
discharge or admittance. It’s a solution designed to be
faster and more efficient than the classic “triage room”
“We’re trying to break down all the barriers to
getting patients from the door to the bed and in
front of the physicians as rapidly as possible.”
- Thomas Rounds
MOTOROLA TWO-WAY RADIOS
HELP IMPROVE ED TEAMWORK,
EFFICIENCY AND FLOW
RUTLAND REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
One of the most important facilitators of immediate
bedding is immediate communication across the ED
front end, involving nurses, technicians and staff. The
primary challenge for ED management was replacing the
inefficient status-quo system with continuous, reliable
communications among all staff members.
The hospital had a modified system that consisted of
looking for people, basically having to track them down.
In addition, some technicians had cell phones. Even cell
phones were inefficient. The nurse had to open her cell
phone, punch in a number, then wait for the tech to reach
and open his phone to answer. This consumed precious
seconds. All in all, it was an inefficient, time-consuming
process and it was the cause of significant slow downs in
front end processes.
THE DTR550 TWO-WAY RADIO SOLUTION
What the Rutland ED needed was the instant
communication and instant response they could get from
a powerful two-way radio system with push-to-talk (PTT)
and talk group capabilities. Based on previous experience
with the DTR550 radios at another healthcare facility,
Rounds was confident of the benefits they could bring
to Rutland. “Instead of having to chase everybody down
or call multiple cell phones, when you have radios and
you use a talk group, everybody immediately hears and
understands the urgency of what you need. They can
acknowledge that they are going to respond, or if they
are unavailable, other members of the group can offer to
With PTT, the nurse can say, “This is triage, we have
a Level 1 chest pain, we’re going to Room 10.” All the
people who need to respond hear the call and can respond
immediately. The nurse assigned to the room goes there, a
tech brings in an EKG machine, the physician is notified. If
someone is unavailable, the team knows it right away and
can immediately make other arrangements.
MOTOROLA DTR550 RADIOS
The hospital chose to deploy the affordable Motorola
DTR550 radio system in the ED, equipping nurses, techs
and staff. Results have been outstanding. The radios not
only offer clear audio communications, PTT, talkgroup and
all other essential capabilities, they are also wearable,
lightweight and ergonomically easy to use. Before full
implementation, of course, the hospital vetted the radios
in a wide range of locations to ensure they would not put
patients at risk by interfering with crucial equipment. The
DTR550 is certified to operate in the 900 MHz Industrial,
Scientific and Medical (ISM) band.
“In one instance, nurses were
transferring a patient who
coded as they were riding in an
elevator; the radios remained
operational and help arrived in
time to save the patient.”
- Thomas Rounds
RUTLAND REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
RUTLAND REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
The department set up a system that utilizes three
Motorola multi-unit chargers, each holding six radios.
Employees take a radio at the beginning of the shift,
then return it at the end, so there are always fully
charged radios at the start of the next shift. Employees
also use Motorola swivel earpieces that are comfortable
and easy to wear, and, because they do not go inside
the ear, pose fewer sanitation issues. Users simply
use wipes to clean the units, and the PTT and earpiece
wires, before their shifts.
EMBRACING THE CHANGE
How have Rutland ED employees adapted to the new
technology? “They adapted very quickly,” says Rounds,
“and now the staff rave about them. The reality is, to
work efficiently in our ED, you must have a radio or
else you’re out of the loop.” There were even a few
surprises. “One day the housekeeper assigned to the
ED said ‘Do you mind if I wear a radio?’” Rounds recalls.
“That linked another department into our team. Now
she can know immediately when to turn a room around,
to clean up a spill or perform a total cleaning. That was
a surprising bonus.”
The Rutland ED has been using the two-way radio
system for more than six months, and the department
is quite satisfied. Performance has been excellent.
“At times when we have a Code 99, which involves the
entire hospital,” says Rounds, “our radios have been
operational throughout the entire five-story building.”
The success of the system is being noticed throughout
Rutland Regional Medical Center. After other personnel
have seen the DTR radios and how well they work,
other departments have gotten their own radios. For
example, reception has gotten three units, and the
oncology department now has 14 radios.
The Rutland ED’s next steps include expanding capacity,
outfitting more employees with radios, including the
scribes who shadow the Rutland physicians. This will
effectively keep doctors in the loop, too. These radios
are planned to be next generation DTR radios.
The Rutland Emergency Department is very pleased
with their Motorola two-way radio system. “I’ve been a
director for 12 years in large facilities, and I’ve looked at
a lot of products,” says Rounds. “Overall, I can tell you
these radios make the patient experience fabulous.”
Most important, however, customer satisfaction
scores have risen for the ED. “We’ve had tremendous
improvement with satisfaction,” concludes Rounds,
“and I credit a lot of that to the radios.”
At radiotwoway.com we only sell Motorola Original Batteries, here's why:
Radios use batteries that can be recharged enabling them to be used again and again. Radio batteries use up power depending on how much they are used, and what they are being used for. So, for example, if they are being used a lot to transmit, they will run out quickly. If, however, they are only used to run the radio on standby, or for short calls and text messages, they can last for many days before needing to be recharged. Whatever the case, few people will find that a single charge lasts more than a couple of days, so being able to recharge the battery regularly is very important. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, and these differ from non-OEM in several ways, primarily in where they are made, and who makes them.
Hospitals provide a unique communications challenge. Many hospitals today use a variety of competing communications systems - pagers, mobile phones, landlines, even public address systems - to connect their various departments and units. In addition to that, the hospital itself can be a barrier to efficient communications. For example, shielded areas such as a lab or a basement can prevent electronic devices from receiving full cellular coverage. These issues can indirectly impact the experience patients and their families have on the hospital campus, which can have serious consequences for everyone.
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are very stable and reliable sources of power for two-way radios, laptops and many other devices. Lithium-ion batteries are widely used because they have a high energy density, resulting in a much lighter weight than other rechargeable batteries. Li-ion have other advantages too. They hold their charge well, losing about 5% of their charge per month as compared to ~20% for nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. Li-ion batteries have no “memory effect,” which means recharging them before they are completely discharged is not an issue. Li-ion batteries can handle many recharges before the end of their useful life.