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Table 2 Current and future solutions to key disadvantages of walkie talkie use in health care settings

From: Walkie talkies to aid health care workers’ compliance with personal protective equipment in the fight against COVID-19

Issue Current solution Future solutions
Non-secure channel - Avoid patient identifiable information
- Frequency hopping: a coordinated channel switch by the team arranged off an open channel
- Investment into secure radio systems that use:
Encrypted frequencies
Automatic frequency-hopping
Miscommunication between multiple teams sharing the same channel - If more than one different department using walkie talkies, department heads should establish which channel to use for each team to keep communications separate.  
Radio frequencies may be obstructed by hospital structures (e.g. lead lining within radiotherapy departments) - To be aware of signal loss zones and make sure alternative means of communication are available - Increased transmission power of radio (requires listened frequencies)
- Use of radio repeater
Specific communication approach required - Communication should be clear, structured and succinct. It must be obvious who you are and who you are trying to contact. For example:
“Person A: This is Person A calling Person B, come in Person B, over ….”
“Person B: This is Person B receiving over … ..”
- Teaching on use of walkie talkie communication and etiquette as part of departmental staff induction
- Simulation training to incorporate walkie talkies