Delivering Ingenuity in Emergency Response Technology

Cornell Communications
Written by Leon Bracey

When emergency situations occur, reliable communication is the key for a quick response. For over 40 years, Cornell Communications has provided its clients with the products and customer service they need for emergency communications.
Cornell Communications offers a full range of emergency communications systems, from visual nurse call stations to wireless paging systems, area of rescue alarms, and clinic status lights. Cornell is able to provide the perfect solution for all emergency response system needs and clients look to the company for reliability and peace of mind.

Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Cornell offers systems in all categories of senior housing focused residences including Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Care, Memory Care, Hospice and Rehabilitation facilities. The company also offers a breadth of technology choices, from basic tone-visual call systems to intercoms for two-way voice communication, wireless devices and the latest Wi-Fi-based hand-held touch screen products.

“Many of our competitors offer only one technology which often is wireless devices only,” Company President J.J. Johnson explains. “We also pride ourselves on immediate personal response to customer and distribution channel requests for assistance – there is no voicemail here.”

Cornell was founded in the late 1960s as Minash and Company, primarily focusing on installing radio towers in the Milwaukee area. Later on, the company began supplying call systems to meet the growing demand for nursing home alarm systems and ultimately elected to manufacture its own products. A manufacturers’ representative network was set up for nationwide distribution and Cornell Electronic Products, Inc. became the new company name, the products labeled as Cornell.

Over the years, the company has developed a reputation for quality and customer service, which has led to substantial growth. Johnson purchased the company in 1993 and changed the name to Cornell Communications. By 2014, with the onset of new competitors selling wireless call systems, the company began selling directly to end users such as retirement home managers and owners.

“This had become the primary sales channel of many of our competitors,” Johnson explains. In 2015, this group was transformed into a separate company called Cornell Direct as the growth of direct sales continued.

Over the past few years, the consolidation of small single-unit residences into larger national and regional chains coupled with customer demand for quality systems has brought about a great deal of change within the industry. The desire to integrate alarm and communication devices into one platform that communicates to the operating staff has been an emerging trend. For example, “Wander Management and Resident Safety systems are being asked to consolidate with the new Electronic Healthcare records now required in healthcare operations,” says Johnson.

Over the years, the need for a minimum standard of performance for call systems in the marketplace led to a new manufacturer-developed quality and performance standard in 2012. Owners and managers of assisted and independent living homes now require tested systems to ensure the safety of their residents. Cornell Communications has been developing products to meet this need, and notably, all nurse call, door monitoring and emergency alert systems from Cornell feature a 10-year warranty service contract – something no other emergency communication system provider offers. The Cornell Communications 10 Year Warranty covers both part replacement and shipping costs for all of the company’s emergency communication products.

The company offers a wide range of emergency call systems for its clients, meeting the diverse needs of different industries. Cornell Communications’ ongoing dedication to continuous improvement ensures that any newly installed emergency communication system is in line with the latest technology, and boasts leading edge functionality. Cornell’s nurse call systems, for instance, are designed to increase caregiver response times and help patients get the help they need faster. The company also designs and manufactures door and window monitoring systems to prevent residents with cognitive impairments from getting lost or accidentally harming themselves.

Over the years, medical facilities and assisted living centers have installed Cornell Communications’ Series 4000 Visual Nurse Call System, thanks to its consistent reliability and ease of use. The system is one of the most widely used in the market today. Many outpatient medical clinics and senior assisted living facilities have embraced the flexibility of the Series 4000 system, which boasts features such as zone lights and AURA 2.0, a software system which provides data-logging for monitoring medical alert devices and broadcast notification to better inform staff of emergency situations. Cornell has designed a wide variety of standard products in configurations intended to meet the unique requirements of any application.

Cornell Communications’ Audio Nurse Call 4500 Series system also has a number of care-enhancing features customers look for. The design of the system was informed by input from nurses and allied caregivers. A highly intuitive and adaptive system, the Audio Nurse Call 4500 series is able to support the highest level of patient care, and can be programmed to accommodate a facility’s existing procedures. This versatility allows system owners to fully benefit from its many features, which include central and satellite stations for complete coverage, easy-to-read annunciator systems to quickly identify the origin of the call, five-color programmable dome light systems, and digital readout desk consoles.

Cornell also offers clinic status systems, area of rescue assistance communication systems, and reporting and paging systems for medical clinics. For its clinic status systems, a visual display locates patients and doctors from room to room. These systems also indicate when a room is vacant, if a doctor is with a patient or if a patient is alone in the room.

For medical facilities with multiple floors, area of rescue assistance communication systems are required. These emergency call systems are used in cases of fire or when a patient with limited mobility is experiencing a medical emergency. When a rescue assistance communication system is activated, caregivers can act quickly and respond in time. “Our Area of Rescue Systems lead the industry in safety intercom alarm communication for those persons unable to exit a building on their own,” Johnson says proudly. Cornell also offers reporting and paging systems that allow patients and medical staff to interact when assistance is required.

According to Johnson, touch-screen handsets have become the new normal in emergency alarm communication. The company is responding to this evolving need by continuing to expand its line of touch-screen mobile handsets. The company is also helping its employees develop the skills they need to keep up with the new Wi-Fi based systems so they can ensure customers are purchasing adequate network capability for their needs.

The company’s team of specialists are available to answer any inquiries about the systems and their installation. “Inventory is always available for immediate shipment and our telephones are answered immediately by our employees,” says Johnson.

This dedication to service and innovation has made Cornell Communications a leader in the industry. “Cornell has always been rated as one of the best call system firms for quality products and timely and informative customer service and support,” says Johnson.

Indeed, in 2014, the company received an Innovation Award for its inform Interactive Nurse Call System product at the LINK Long Term Care and Senior Living Conference. In a contest of 50 entries the inform system was the only winner of five suppliers of resident safety systems. The judging criteria included uniqueness, impact on the industry, product need, readiness and availability.

Since its beginnings nearly 50 years ago, Cornell Communications has proven to be a trailblazer in the emergency call systems field, and continues to develop the products that patient-care facilities need to ensure optimal communication. By responding to the needs of its customers, Cornell Communications is sure to retain its status as an industry leader.

“There is always an ongoing desire to meet the immediate needs of our customers,” Johnson says. “Cornell has experts available to provide the products and systems that improve resident safety… and we can significantly improve response times to residents and the efficiency of staff members without the total replacement of their existing system.”



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