Avaya Introduces Collaboration Solutions to Help Healthcare Providers Enhance Patient Care

Avaya’s healthcare services business is launching at HIMSS 11 a mobile device checkout system for hospitals and an automated patient follow-up service that can be customized to an array of acute conditions.

Avaya at HIMSS 2011: Business Communications Leader Demonstrates New Mobility and Automated Outreach Offerings For Improving Healthcare Processes

HIMSS Conference and Exhibition, Orlando, Fla., – Avaya, Inc., a global leader in business collaboration systems, software and services, today announced new and enhanced communications solutions to help healthcare providers improve workplace collaboration and patient care. The solutions–to be demonstrated at the 2011 Annual HIMSS Conference and Exhibition–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.”

Innovative technologies will continue to play a central role in healthcare in 2011. Gartner estimates that “in 2011 healthcare providers worldwide will spend $87.7 billion on IT, including hardware, software, IT services, and telecommunications.”[1]

Avaya will showcase its solutions in booth #2718 at the 2011 HIMSS Conference and Exhibition. This includes the new offerings:

  • 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 device. With this solution, a hospital worker registers a shared or personal mobile device at the start of his shift by swiping the barcodes on their mobile 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 key 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.
    Today’s update builds on the prior release by expanding support beyond  hospital WLAN devices to now integrate with other smart phones and wireless tablets, including iPhones, Blackberrys and iPads. Enhanced reporting also provides expanded device management capabilities within the hospital.  General availability is March 2011.
  • 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 is generally available summer 2011.

Other solutions to be demonstrated at HIMSS include 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.  Avaya also will spotlight the groundbreaking Avaya FlareÔ Experience solution, and demonstrate how it simplifies multi-modal collaboration to help clinicians focus on patient care.

Leading Hospitals Use Avaya Solutions to Improve Collaboration

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 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.”

Rochester General Hospital also uses Avaya Mobile Device Checkout as the backbone of its emergency department communications. The hospital’s employees–including physicians, transporters, reparatory therapists, radiologists and nurses–no longer have to wait to use wall phones to reach colleagues in emergency situations. They now have an assigned mobile device that they check out by scanning their ID, and then carry with them at all times. 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 comprehensive communications platform powered by Avaya Aura™ to tap the full potential of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). SIP enables WellStar to experience new 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 in the event that 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, telecommunications for 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.”

[1] Gartner, Market Insight: Healthcare Provider Industry Primer, 2010. Nov. 18, 2010

About Avaya
Avaya is a global leader in enterprise communications systems.  The company provides unified communications, contact centers, data solutions and related services directly and through its channel partners to leading businesses and organizations around the world. Enterprises of all sizes depend on Avaya for state-of-the-art communications that improve efficiency, collaboration, customer service and competitiveness. For more information, please visit www.avaya.com.