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Mobile systems

Halton adopts device management solution

OAKVILLE, Ont. – Halton Healthcare, a three-hospital organization in southern Ontario, is implementing Avaya’s Mobile Device Checkout 3.0 system after a successful pilot in 2010. The solution provides an easy-to-use method of managing the growing numbers of mobile devices – such as cell phones and smartphones – in hospitals.

When starting a shift, a clinician will scan the barcode on a device and the barcode on his or her ID badge. That assigns the clinician’s extension number to the phone.

In this way, extension numbers are associated with the clinicians, instead of being attached to particular devices.

This means a nurse can pick up a different phone each day from a pool and still have the same extension number, which simplifies the task of calling him or her from day to day.

And if a phone is contaminated or damaged during a shift, and the nurse must switch devices, he or she again scans the bar code of the new phone and maintains the same extension number.

As a result, the system makes it easier to maintain lists and databases of nurses and physicians. It also renders it easier to locate them when needed, as they always have the same extension number, no matter the device they are using.

“The duty nurse no longer spends hours tracking phone extensions, she can spend her time doing patient care,” said Sanjeev Gupta, general manager of Avaya’s Healthcare Solutions Group.

Clinicians with their own phones can also use them in the system, provided their devices have capabilities to connect to a wireless local area network.

Halton Healthcare deployed Avaya Mobile Device Checkout to address the communications challenges facing their emergency department. Previously, contacting a physician or nurse could be cumbersome, and in many cases they would need to rely on hospital-wide overhead paging.

Avaya’s solutions enable Halton Healthcare’s staff to use their mobile devices to directly and instantly reach a co-worker’s extension. In an environment where seconds save lives, this decreases the time to reach staff, and reduces the excess noise of hospital-wide overhead paging.

“Avaya Mobile Device Checkout is the best solution the department has implemented in 20 years,” said Dr. Richard Casey of Halton Healthcare. “We have our professionals getting connected in real-time, which is a great advancement in our communications, as well as patient flow and safety.”

The system is capable of acting as a single sign-on solution, giving users role-based access to a variety of clinical systems – without the need to log-in and log-out. Once in, they can reach all types of clinical information.

Moreover, the phone can receive alarms and alerts, as well as notifications to provide patients with medications.

“There’s a critical need for this kind of enterprise-wide device management,” said Gupta. “The current process that nurses and physicians use to get into networks is inefficient. This solution will save them a lot of time.”

Avaya formally launched the Mobile Device Checkout 3.0 solution this week at the HIMSS conference in Orlando, Fla. The company also announced several other systems, including:

• Avaya Patient Follow-up: This enables hospitals to use automated outreach to call and follow up with patients after their discharge from a hospital. It uses voice automation to ask customized questions based on a patient’s medical records and their reason for hospitalization. Designed to reduce the number of patients re-admitted, this solution also reduces the dependency on using staff for repetitive follow-up activities. The system can be tailored to acute conditions, and helps in chronic disease management by ensuring patients follow proper care at home. It will be available summer 2011.

• Avaya Patient Appointment Reminder, which drives outbound calls to remind and confirm patients for pending appointments using speech automation or prompts, and Avaya Patient Admit Coordinator, which uses multi-modal communications to accelerate and coordinate hospital admittance for patients recently treated in the emergency room.

“Healthcare professionals need to be instantly reachable and quick to respond in order to deliver the most effective care,” said Gupta. “Avaya’s solutions help speed up hospital clinical processes, and remove the barriers that can frustrate healthcare professionals. Our solutions – and the tools we are introducing today – are designed to drive streamlined communications within an industry where every second counts.”

Posted February 24, 2011