Vocera Platform

Release Notes - Version

Updated: April 20, 2021

About the Vocera Platform

The Vocera Platform optimizes patient safety by helping clinicians make real-time decisions and communicate instantly in critical situations; it is the intelligent ecosystem that connects all the people and information needed to deliver patient care.

With the intelligence of the Vocera Platform, clinicians can quickly determine activities that they need to prioritize and close the loop faster with secure messaging, phone calls, and alert and alarm notifications—all in one place. You can locate people quickly, collaborate productively, and reduce the noise, using the device that fits your workflow—the Vocera Vina smartphone app, the V-Series Smartbadge, or the B-Series Badge. The Vocera Platform enables the flow of meaningful, actionable information between people and systems and allows it to be received when, where, and how it’s needed, keeping the patient at the center of care.

In addition, the Vocera Platform now offers simplified deployment, maintenance, and administration, as well as a smaller footprint requiring fewer servers.

Use this document in conjunction with the following Vocera Vina, Vocera Smartbadge Firmware, and Vocera Platform Localization Suite Release Notes:

What's New

This section summarizes the new features in this release.

What's New in Vocera Platform

This release includes enhancements to several areas of the Vocera Platform.

Web Console Enhancements

This release provides the following enhancements to the Vocera Platform Web Console:

  • Add Custom Presence Status Messages

    Add customized availability messages that you want to display on your Vocera Vina app, Vocera Smartbadge, or the Web Console. You can click the Edit link in the Presence Indicator window to add a customized presence message.
  • Access Archived Vina Conversations

    If you have archived a Vocera Vina conversation, you can now access it from Vina Web.

  • Add custom fields for Users, Devices, and Groups

    System administrators can add a new attribute to Users, Groups, and Devices datasets to define custom fields for Users, Devices, and Groups in the system.

  • Broadcasts and Urgent Broadcasts

    You can initiate broadcasts or urgent broadcasts from the Vina Web or Staff Assignment Web Console. System administrators must grant the required permissions to allows users to initiate broadcasts or urgent broadcasts from the Vina Web and the Staff Assignment Console.

  • Calling Party Number field is now available for Shared Telephony

    You can now include the Calling Party Number for Shared Telephony configuration. When you add a number to the Calling Party Number field available in the Add Shared Telephony Info dialog box, the Vocera facility's telephony caller ID is displayed so that call recipients can call back later at this number.
  • Contacts in Vina

    Any Contact entries added to the system will now be searchable in Vina. Vina users can call any Contacts in their Vina directory. The ability to start a chat (conversation) with a Contact is not supported.

  • Coverage Request

    Physicians can use the coverage request feature to request another physician or a care team member to cover their service responsibilities for a specific time so that patients are taken care of when the requesting physician is not available.

    The requesting physician (requester) can initiate a request on their Vina app to cover their entire role, including all services that they provide to their patients. The scheduling part of the Coverage Request feature allows the physicians to create requests up to a week in advance, allowing enough time to plan the required coverage in their absence so that patients continue to get the required services even when a physician is away for some time.

    System administrators must enable the required security policies and configure coverage specific set up to allow users to start initiating coverage requests from their Vina app. Coverage requests can only be initiated from the Vina app, but coverage request recipients can view, accept, or decline the request on their Vina app or smartbadge.

  • Enhancements to Bulk Actions

    Following are some updates to the Bulk Actions:

    • Required fields are now indicated with an asterisk (*) sign
    • Ability to import active users
    • The Users-template.CSV is now updated to include the speech pack field
    • Import function now associates Locations to Departments
    • The AssignmentLocations-template.CSV file has been split into AssignmentLocationsBeds-template.CSV and AssignmentLocationsDepartments-template.CSV files.

  • Enhancement to Template Recipient Option

    System administrators can select the Open Recipient option for the user to choose a single user or single group as the recipient of the template.
  • Hide the display of a forwarded number

    When a call is forwarded to an external phone number, administrators and users can choose to display the name of the called user instead of the external phone number on the device.

    System administrators can select Hide Forwarded Number in Settings > User Defaults > Notifications & Miscellaneous Settings > Call Setup section to hide the external phone number.

    Similarly, Vocera Platform My Profile users can enable the Hide Forwarded Number option in the Call Forwarding section.

  • Messaging section renamed to Vina in the Web Console User Interface

    The Messaging section in Vocera Platform Web Console is replaced with Vina to maintain uniformity with the Vina device user interface. While the Messaging section is changed to Vina, there are no changes in the functions that you perform through this section of the Web Console.

  • New Template button in Vina

    Vocera Vina app users see a template button on their Vocera Vina app home screen. The template button displays as an exclamation mark (!) with the chat and/or call buttons. System administrator can enable or disable the display of the template button using the Vocera Vina template button is enabled security policy.

    Vocera Vina users can use this button to select any available templates to initiate a templated alert.

  • Patient Communication Coverage Forwarding

    When the coverage request is declined, the requester can then use the Forward option in the Presence window to forward the request to another recipient. Vina users can specify where they want the calls to be forwarded when they are unavailable, for example, to a nearby desk phone or another team member.

  • Self-Add to Groups in Vina

    Vina users who often require to change floor or location assignments frequently can now easily add or remove themselves from an assignment group in Vina. This is especially useful where users don't have an updated staff assignment to follow.

    System administrators can configure the appropriate group permissions and security policies to enable the users to add or remove themselves from the group.

    Vina users can also tap on My Groups under System Settings to display all the groups that they belong to, users with appropriate group permissions can remove a group from this list.

  • Set a domain name or IP address for Vocera Vina clients using EMM

    If you have an Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) system installed in your environment, you can use it to specify the domain name or IP address for all Vocera Vina client users. When this is in place, users cannot change the domain name or IP address themselves.

  • View Panic Caller's Location

    The Emergency Broadcast Group members can view a panic caller's location information to quickly reach out to the panicking caller and provide the required assistance. System administrators can enable the Send Broadcasting User's Location to Emergency Broadcast Group option to broadcast the panic caller's location information to the group members.

  • Vocera Web Calling

    The Vocera web calling feature allows you to initiate calls from the Vina Web, or the Vocera Platform Staff Assignment Console.

    The web calling feature is useful for users who are managing a desk office in a hospital set up and like to be able to make their Vina calls through the Vina Web or call a care team member from the Staff Assignment Console .

    For example, a nurse sitting at a nurse station can log in to the Vina Web or the Staff Assignment Console to initiate a call. Typically, this nurse may have access to a Vina device and a desk phone to make a web call.

Server-Side Enhacements

This release provides the following server-side enhancements:

Dialing Vocera Extension

When dialing an extension via the on-screen dial-pad on Vocera Vina, Vocera Smartbadge, or via the Dial extension voice command, any defined Vocera Phone fields on Users or Groups will be searched first before the call is routed to a connected PBX.

In earlier versions of the Vocera Platform, the calls would directly route to a connected PBX.

What's New in Vocera Platform

This release includes the following new feature in Vocera Platform.

Placing Direct Calls from Vocera Devices

The new direct call feature as part of the Vocera care team connect solution enables patients and their care team to communicate with each other in bed locations lacking nurse call. Use of this feature can reduce the need to don and doff Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and improve the patient experience.

When the direct call feature is enabled for a Vocera Smartbadge or B3000n device users, a patient can press the Call button to immediately place a call to a predefined care team recipient without having to interact with the Genie. The direct call recipient can be another user, group, or a contact in the system.

The Direct Call feature is disabled by default. System administrators can enable a user profile in the Web Console to allow the user to quickly call a predefined recipient saved in the user's profile. Administrators can also perform a bulk action to import the direct call recipient information for all users in the system using the updated Users-template.CSV file. For more information on enabling and configuring the Direct Call feature, refer to the Vocera Platform Admin Guide or the Help link available in the Vocera Platform Web Console.

For information on Vocera device usage guidelines for the Direct Call feature, refer to the Vocera V-Series Smartbadge User Guide and Vocera B-Series Badge User Guide available on Vocera Documentation Portal.

What's New in Vocera Platform (HF2)

Vocera Platform (HF2) is a maintenance release only. There are no new new features in this release.

What's New in Vocera Platform (HF1)

Vocera Platform (HF1) is a maintenance release only. There are no new new features in this release.

What's New in Vocera Platform

This release includes enhancements to several areas of the Vocera Platform.

Web Console Enhancements

This release provides the following enhancements to the Vocera Platform Web Console:

  • Patient context is now available in Vina Web.

    When you are creating a conversation in the Vina Web, you can now specify a patient as the context of the conversation.

  • Alerts are now supported in the Vina Web.

    The Vina Web now supports the ability to send and receive alerts, which enables you to respond to urgent or important situations immediately. Alerts can be related to patients assigned to you, or can be unrelated to a specific patient.

    Here is some of the functionality that alerts provide:

    • View alerts using both menu and desktop notifications.

      Alerts are indicated using the menu and desktop notifications, and this ensures that you are made aware that you have received an alert even if you are not actively using the Vina Web at the time that the alert arrives.

    • View alerts based on priority.

      Alerts are displayed uniquely based on normal, high, or urgent priority. Each alert is color-coded based to indicate the type of alert priority.

      On your screen, alerts and conversations are displayed in the following order:

      1. Unread alerts or urgent-priority mass alerts (displayed first).
      2. Alerts and conversations with unsent, unacknowledged, or unread messages.
      3. Read and accepted alerts and conversations (displayed last)
    • Receive automatic invitations to join alerts.

      When you receive an alert, you can choose to accept the alert and join a conversation with other recipients who received or accepted the alert invitation. You can also choose to decline the alert, or you can view the details of the alert before deciding to accept or decline it.

    • Create common alerts using a template.

      If your facility has standard alert types that it generates regularly, you can define templates that enable you to generate these alerts quickly. Templates can be configured to specify the patient or location that is related to the alert.

  • Patient data display is now restricted.

    You can now configure your system to prevent unauthorized users from viewing sensitive patient data. Users that belong to specified groups cannot view patient data, but can only view patient locations. This ensures that patient information is not displayed.

  • Hiding user's home departments.

    System administrator can now configure the system to hide the user's home department. When a user starts a new chat or call, or manages favorites, the user's home department is not displayed at the top of the list in the Vina smartphone app or on the Vina Web.

  • Groups can now display subgroups.

    When you click a group name to display its members in the Vocera Vina smartphone app or on the Vina Web, you may see one or more subgroups. You can click on a subgroup name to display the members of that subgroup.

  • Upload profile photo to your My Profile page.

    You can now add or change your profile photo on your My Profile page. You cannot edit your profile photo if it is uploaded to the system through your organization's active directory integration.

  • Notes field for Groups and Users.

    System administrator can now enter notes with information on the Group membership and permissions. This may be useful when a new person is assigned the system administrator role. Similarly, they can also add notes to for a specific user in the system.

  • Ability to clone templates.

    You can now create templates with matching data using the clone template feature. You no longer need to spend your valuable time to manually add the same data multiple time to create new templates.

  • Tracking feature usage analytics.

    Vocera Platform can now send feature usage analytics data from the web and mobile clients to the cloud. System administrators can disable usage analytics if this feature is not desired.

    Note: Feature usage analytics doesn't track any personal data.

  • Upload log files to the server.

    When you are logged into the Vina Web, you can now upload a log file of your activity to the server. This can help you identify any problem that occurs.

  • Group members can now add and remove themselves from a group.

    In Vocera Vina, Group members with the right set of permissions can add or remove themselves from a group.

  • Custom Preset Options for Presence Status.

    You can create custom preset options and select one of these options to display as your presence status.

    A custom preset option is a presence status setting that allows a user to specify the presence state (available or unavailable) with some customized information. System administrators can create custom preset options for users in a Facility. Users can scroll through the available preset options and click or tap to choose the option that they want.

Voice Experience Enhancements

This release provides the following features:

  • Missed calls are not shown when All or Offline condition is selected to forward a call.

    When the call gets forwarded to a destination through Call Forwarding > Forward When > All or Offline options, users do not see a missed call entry in the call log.
  • By default, the Favor Frequently Called option is disabled for users and departments.

    On the Settings > System Configuration > Preferences page of the Vocera Platform Web Console, Favor Frequently Called is set to None by default. You can enable it for users or departments.

What's New in Vocera Platform 6.1.0

This release includes enhancements to several areas of the Vocera Platform.

Voice Experience Enhancements

This release provides parity with voice experience features implemented through Vocera Voice Server 5.3.2, including the following:

  • Announcing phone numbers for incoming calls.

    When Announce Caller's Name After Tone is enabled in the Genie Settings section of User Defaults in the Vocera Platform Web Console, the Genie announces the caller's name, or if no name is available, the phone number.

  • Announcing group name when a message is sent to a group.

    When a message is sent to a group, the Genie announces the group name and the sender of the message. For example, the Genie may say, "You have a message for Med Surge Nurse from Charles Parker".

  • Ability to initiate or schedule a Code Lavender® event and send reminders for it.

    A Code Lavender event helps clinical staff members to continue after being involved with a difficult case, diagnosis, or loss. Hospital staff often feel fatigue, despair, and negative emotions after an unwelcome outcome, due to their growing attachment with a patient. A Code Lavender event helps hospital employees regain the mental and emotional strength to cope with these challenging situations.

    New voice commands to support this feature include "Schedule Code Lavender for <group name>>", "Start Code Lavender for <group name>>", "Delete Code Lavender Reminder for <group name>>", and "Delete All Code Lavender Reminders".

  • Automatically add doctor prefix to alternate spoken names.

    The Doctor Prefix field in the Speech Recognition section of Manage > Users obviates the need to create an alternate spoken name for a user who has the title of "Doctor".

  • A facility-level setting to control the user of Easter Eggs.

    Administrators can enable or disable the ability to use Easter Eggs commands for each facility.

  • Intelligent backoff strategies for Call, Broadcast, Add me to group, and Record Message commands.

    Intelligent command backoff offers additional help to users when the Genie fails to recognize the names of recipients of common voice commands.

  • Commands to lead you through mindfulness sessions of varying lengths.

    Mindfulness is a type of meditation that increases your awareness and improves your attention; it can reduce stress, sharpen concentration skills, and contribute toward your overall mental and physical health.

    Use the Play Mindfulness command to take a mindfulness break with a guided meditation of 30 seconds, one minute, or five minutes. This feature is enabled by default.

  • Automatic prompting for users to record names that are frequently spelled.

    The Genie interactively offers to learn the name of users if you spell it frequently when using the Call command. The Genie plays a prompt offering to learn the name that you spelled when you next log in.

  • Prompt to Play Unread Messages at Logout.

    When a user logs out, the Genie asks if you want to play unread messages before the logout occurs. This reminder is useful because messages are often not played during a busy day, and then forgotten.

  • The ability to schedule reminders for other users and groups, and the ability to schedule reminders for yourself.

    Reminders may be either recurring and non-recurring and can be scheduled through a device or the Vocera Platform Web Console.

  • Updated prompts when transferring a login from a device to the mobile app.

    When a logged-in user switches from a device to the app, the prompt now indicates that the user is being transferred to another device rather than being logged out.

  • Optional voice PIN authentication to play messages.

    Badge users can now define a Voice PIN (Personal Identification Number) that must be spoken before playing messages. The PIN requirement is set by the administrator for individual users or groups.

Web Console Enhancements

This release provides the following enhancements to the Vocera Platform Web Console:

  • First release of the Vocera Platform Staff Assignment application.

    Staff Assignment allows an individual such as a HUC or a clinical system such as Epic to populate room/bed locations with clinical staff assignments, making them available to the Vocera system for use in communication and the delivery of clinical events.

  • Tiered administration permissions, enabling system administrators to delegate specific responsibilities to other users.

    Using tiered administrators distributes the administrative maintenance, allowing system administrators to perform more complex tasks while tiered administrators handle the more routine maintence.

  • Ability to disable a user account through the Vocera Platform Web Console.

    Disabling an account is useful in situations when a user is temporarily not available. When the account is disabled, the user's name and alternate spoken names are removed from the system grammar, improving speech recognition; in addition, disabled users do not decrement your overall user count for licensing purposes.

  • The Device Monitor now provides status information for all logged-in devices.

    The Device Monitor the name of the logged-in user, the IP address of the device, and for users running the Vocera Vina application, the type of mobile device in use.

  • Message templates for the Vina Web.

    Templates allow you to send emergency messages or other messages quickly, as values for many of the fields in the message have already been supplied.

  • Browser-based mini-applications available to end users who have the appropriate permissions:

    • My Profile

      The My Profile application allows users to view and customize profile information, settings, and preferences related to Vocera devices and mobile applications.

    • My Workflow

      By default, the My Workflow application provides access to a set of workflows for four defined user roles: End User, Charge Nurse/Department Secretary, Super User, and Administrator. These default roles allow users to efficiently perform their responsibilities from a menu displayed in a web browser. System administrators can rename these roles, modify their workflows, and add additional roles/workflows.

Server-Side Enhancements

This release provides the following server-side enhancements:

  • Server-side support for Vocera Smartbadge.

    The Vocera Platform has now extended its support to the full range of Vocera clients: the touch-screen enabled Smartbadge, the voice-controlled Badge, and the Vocera Vina mobile application.

  • Support for newly introduced features in the Vocera Vina mobile app.

    See the Vocera Vina iOS or Android Release Notes for a complete list of new application features.

  • Support for Vocera SIP Telephony Gateway running directly on the Vocera Platform server.

    The Vocera Platform now provides a minimal IT footprint by running the voice service, workflow engine, database, and telephony gateway on the same machine.

  • Integration with the Vocera Analytics product.

    Vocera Analytics provides visibility to traffic passing through the Vocera Platform. Access to Vocera Analytics is available through the Vocera Platform Web Console.

What's New in Vocera Platform 6.0.0

Version 6.0.0 is the initial release of the Vocera Platform, which unifies the heritage Vocera Voice Server 5.x and the Engage Server 5.x product lines in a single Linux appliance.

This release includes the following features:

What's Fixed

The following list contains fixes and improvements made to the Vocera Platform.

What's Fixed in the Vocera Platform

The following list includes the defects fixed in this version of the Vocera Platform.

What's Fixed in the Vocera Platform

The following defect is fixed in this version of the Vocera Platform.

Vocera Vina clients may lose connectivity to voice services due to a service outage on the platform server. (SIV-5803)

The rare deadlock occurrence in the signaling gateway causing Vina clients to lose connectivity, is now fixed.

What's Fixed in the Vocera Platform (HF2)

The following list includes the defects fixed in this version of the Vocera Platform.

What's Fixed in the Vocera Platform (HF1)

In some situations, if there are no alternate spoken name entries, using Vocera voice commands to make calls or other calling features results in unintended calls to users. (SIV-5434)

This issue is now fixed.

What's Fixed in the Vocera Platform

The following issues are fixed in the Vocera Platform product release.

Platform Issues

Web Console Issues

What's Fixed in the Vocera Platform 6.1.0

The following issues are fixed in the Vocera Platform 6.1.0 product release.

Platform Issues

Web Console Issues

What's Fixed in the Vocera Platform 6.0.0

The following issues are fixed in the Vocera Platform 6.0.0 product release.

Known Issues

This section contains a list of known product issues and limitations in the Vocera Platform.

Known Issues in Vocera Platform

Platform Issues