IBM wireless technology goes into
MONTREAL – Faster diagnosis, better
patient care and improved communication are key goals for doctors and
managers using new wireless systems that IBM is designing and installing
at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH).
The secure wireless network gives physicians and other healthcare
professionals quick and easy access to important patient information,
enabling them to communicate with one and another from anywhere in the
hospital via mobile devices, saving time and improving efficiency in
Since 2005, IBM has worked with the hospital to develop a strategy and
technology system, using wireless technology from industry partner
Symbol, to improve JGH medical staff’s accessibility while ensuring
The first step towards becoming wireless was the installation of access
points throughout the hospital. With this new technology, medical and
nursing staff can now use mobile telephone technology and handheld
devices inside the hospital in a safe and secure manner.
“Part of our mission is to actively lead the development and evaluation
of new technologies that improve patient care,” said Dr. Stephen
Rosenthal (pictured above), Associate Director of Medical Informatics at the JGH. “With
the collaboration of IBM and Symbol, this wireless technology has
already proven to be successful in keeping medical professionals
connected in real time, which has helped patients.
“JGH physicians are already saving time and working more efficiently by
using mobile devices for charting systems, and they will soon be able to
access patients’ test results wirelessly as well.”
As medical staff members are constantly on the move and not easily
accessible by phone, in order to obtain vital information from a
colleague, they would previously have had to locate a land line, call
the hospital operator to page the colleague, wait for the colleague to
receive the page, locate another land line and call the number.
The new wireless technology provides physicians with direct lines of
communication, as well as instant access to patient information, which
can facilitate quicker patient care decisions and better collaboration
among healthcare workers.
A recent JGH quality and patient satisfaction survey demonstrated that
the number one cause of patient dissatisfaction is the noise level on
the patient care units. Typically, these units are equipped with nurse
call systems, which require the nursing station’s unit agent to use the
overhead paging system to communicate with the assigned healthcare
professional when a patient calls for help, thus disturbing up to 30
patients at the same time.
The wireless technology at the JGH enables patients to communicate
directly with their assigned healthcare professionals 24/7, improving
quality of care and efficiency of healthcare professionals.
A pilot project using this technology was performed in the JGH’s
palliative care unit and had such a positive impact on the quality of
patient care and efficiency that the hospital is currently expanding
this system to all patient care units.
New wireless applications are also being implemented. For example, a
mobile dictation application on PDAs with voice recognition was
successfully piloted in the JGH Department of Emergency Medicine, and is
now being deployed on a first in-patient unit.
As well, the hospital is testing technology to track assets, such as
wheelchairs or medical equipment, to minimize time searching for lost
About the JGH
Since 1934, the Sir Mortimer B. Davis – Jewish General Hospital, a
McGill University teaching hospital, has provided “Care for All,”
serving patients from diverse religious, linguistic and cultural
backgrounds in Montreal, throughout Quebec and beyond. As one of the
province’s largest acute-care hospitals, the JGH has achieved a
reputation for excellence in key medical specialties by continually
expanding and upgrading its facilities for clinical treatment and
teaching, as well as research at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical
Research. For more, please visit www.jgh.ca.
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