Avaya Introduces Collaboration Solutions to Help Healthcare Providers Enhance Patient Care

Avaya has introduced several new and enhanced communications solutions to help healthcare providers improve workplace collaboration and patient care. The solutions use mobility, automated outreach, and other technologies to enhance care coordination, pre-admissions preparedness, and post-discharge care.

“Healthcare professionals need to be instantly reachable and quick to respond in order to deliver the most effective care,” said Sanjeev Gupta, general manager of Avaya’s Healthcare Solutions group. “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.”

Avaya's new offerings include the following:

  • Avaya Mobile Device Checkout 3.0: This frees hospital staff from the nurse’s station by enabling communications from anywhere on hospital grounds using a personalized Wireless LAN mobile device. With this solution, a hospital worker registers a shared or personal mobile device at the start of his shift by swiping the barcode on their device and ID badge. This assigns a personal phone number to the device, eliminating complex login procedures or the need for staff members to get a new contact number each time they come to work. This addresses the issue of availability, since, according to a recent Spyglass Consulting Group report, 69 percent of hospital-based physicians and 87 percent of private practice physicians indicate their biggest communications challenge is connecting with colleagues in a timely manner. Mobile Device Checkout also allows simultaneous log in to clinical applications, such as asset management. This update builds on the prior release by expanding support beyond hospital WLAN devices to now integrate with other smartphones and wireless tablets, including iPhones, BlackBerrys, and iPads. Enhanced reporting also provides expanded device management capabilities within the hospital. General availability is March.
  • Avaya Patient Follow-up: This enables hospitals to use automated outreach to call and follow up with patients after their discharge from the hospital. It uses voice automation to ask customized questions based on a patient’s medical records and their reasons 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 multimodal communications to accelerate and coordinate hospital admittance for patients recently treated in the emergency room.

Avaya serves a wide range of healthcare organizations, including Halton Healthcare, a multi-site healthcare organization based in Ontario, Canada, Rochester General Hospital, the flagship care facility for the Rochester General Health System (RGHS) of N.Y., and WellStar Health System, a Marietta, GA-based not-for-profit health system serving 1.3 million area residents.

Halton Healthcare deployed Avaya Mobile Device Checkout to address the communications challenges facing its emergency department. Previously, contacting a physician or nurse could be cumbersome, and in many cases they wouldneed 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. “Our professionals are getting connected in real-time, which is a great advancement in our communications, as well as patient flow and safety.”

Rochester General Hospital also uses Avaya Mobile Device Checkout as the backbone of its emergency department communications. The hospital’s employees,including physicians, transporters, radiologists, and nurses, no longer have to wait to use wall phones to reach colleagues in emergencies. They now have an assigned mobile device they check out by simply scanning their ID. Approximately 50 mobile devices are in use by employees, each reachable by a role-based extension number.

“We now communicate quickly and on the fly,” said George Glessner, process coordinator, emergency department, Rochester General Hosptial. “Steps are eliminated for most everything, whether one needs to obtain lab test results or transport patients to radiology. With Avaya Mobile Device Checkout, the staff is now reachable from anywhere in and just outside the hospital, including the emergency department parking lot and helipad, thus enabling us to easily make arrangements for patients in critical condition as they arrive.”

WellStar Health System turned to Avaya for a communications platform powered by Avaya Aura to tap the potential of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). SIP enables WellStar to gain cost savings, and soon implement real-time collaboration for staff using voice, video, and data communications. WellStar’s SIP foundation also brings the benefit of increased continuity by supporting three real-time registrations. This enables phone service and operations to continue if one or even two of the registration offices go down.

“From a redundancy standpoint, having continuous communications is significant for us,” said Debra Naderhoff, executive director of telecommunications at WellStar, “because it means that our phone service won’t fail us, and in life-and-death situations, this is critical. With Avaya, we are well-covered for business continuity.”

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