Research Pain Points To Win The Job
By remedying a rural healthcare organization’s worst voice and mobility problems, this integrator expects to accrue up to six additional jobs.
Business Solutions, August 2009
The healthcare organization, which includes a combination of separate urgent care and long-term facilities and clinics, employs doctors, nurses, and specialists. In September 2008, Imagine Technologies contacted the company to discuss the value statements created to show a total cost of ownership model, solving its unacceptable voice and mobility problems. “After going through their business problems with them, we gained their trust,” says Jerry Tracy, sales manager at Imagine Technologies. “Also, we offered an integration of different products and services specifically designed for HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] compliance including the movement to electronic record and enabling mobility for the staff.” These items involved talks between the integrator and the healthcare organization’s IT department and CFO.
Enhance Communication, Medication Procedures With Integrated Solutions
Prior to the installation, the organization communicated via a traditional private branch exchange (PBX) phone system (i.e. a normal phone system). The wireless data systems and telephone systems were not integrated, making it difficult, and sometimes impossible, for healthcare professionals to communicate with one another. The phone system was eight years old, and it did not allow doctors and nurses to communicate between buildings. For example, calls could not be transferred, each building’s voice mail was on a different system, there was no paging system, and clinicians couldn’t tell when other clinicians were already on the phone.
Imagine Technologies offered a solution that remedied all these pain points, as well as another pain point the healthcare organization had experienced for years. Nurses use a computer on wheels (COW) to bar code, distribute, and document patients’ prescription medication dosages. The COW had been running on a subpar wireless application that didn’t allow nurses to answer phone calls and operate the COW simultaneously. When the nurse’s station telephone rang, the nurse had to leave the cart unsupervised for several minutes at a time to answer the phone. The solution was an integrated wireless data network and a wireless phone system. With this new system, when the phone rings, the nurse can answer the wireless phone right at the COW without leaving the cart or disturbing the flow of medication distribution.
To alleviate the communication and mobility issues, Imagine Technologies installed an Avaya SME (small to medium enterprises) VoIP phone system, an Aruba Wireless LAN, HP ProCurve for data switching, and Microsoft Unified Communications software, which were purchased from Catalyst Telecom. The integrator chose these products because each is listed in the top tier for its respective technology according to Gartner, a technology research and advisory company. The hardware installed included the HP ProCurve Switch 2600 Series (i.e. managed switches), Microsoft Exchange 2007 with unified messaging and speech recognition server, the Avaya IP Office, and an Aruba Mobility Controller. The installation took three weeks. End user training was done in three stages — basic user (i.e. nurses and doctors), receptionist (learn how to answer calls with a wireless headset), and administration (create and retrieve reports).
Because this was one of its first rural healthcare installations, Imagine Technologies expects to accrue four to six additional accounts in the rural healthcare vertical. “The end user’s communication and mobility complaints have all but disappeared,” says Tracy. “Clinicians are able to reach other clinicians regardless of location, and calls are ringing at the COW.”