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Sandwell General Hospital Perfects Its Bedside Manner With AvayaWireless Technology

01-30-2003
  • Doctors expected to cut prescription processing time by up to25%

Avaya announced the installation of a wireless local area network (LAN) within Sandwell General Hospital based in West Bromwich, England. The system installed by Avaya's business partner, Telesys Communications.

Avaya (NYSE: AV), a leading global provider of communications networks and services for businesses, has announced the installation of a wireless local area network (LAN) within Sandwell General Hospital based in West Bromwich, England. The system installed by Avaya's business partner, Telesys Communications, gives doctors instant access via wireless technology to pharmaceutical databases and medical records on the network, from their laptops.

 

The technology will speed up the delivery of treatment to patients and cut down dramatically on hospital administration. This will free up valuable time for doctors to spend with patients. A successful pilot was conducted where wireless communication was used to assist the Paediatric team in accessing patient records during Outpatient sessions and ward rounds, helping them work more efficiently.

 

Within the hospital, more than 20 wards have been fitted with wireless LAN access points. Currently, the technology is used by the Paediatric and Cardiology teams. Doctors' laptops are fitted with Avaya wireless LAN cards allowing them to access medical databases on the wards. This enables clinicians to issue prescriptions as they visit patients at their bedside. As a result, processing prescriptions will be closer to a paperless procedure where information is processed quicker and drugs are administered faster to patients. Now pharmacists can prescribe on the ward, an hour will be cut off the processing time for each patient's drugs.

 

Also, patient records including digitised X-ray images can be accessed from the network by doctors on their laptops at the bedside. This provides patients with a faster service from doctors who have more information at their fingertips. The Avaya wireless LAN has encryption technology and is capable of authenticating wireless users. This ensures that sensitive information such as medical records remain secure on the network and cannot be accessed by unauthorised people.

 

Richard Brand, head of Electronic Patient Records at Sandwell General Hospital said: "Avaya's wireless LAN will revolutionise the way in which our clinicians and doctors work. Doctors can now access information through their laptops during ward rounds. The system slashes administration to a minimum and assists us in delivering a speedier health service to our patients."

 

Roger Jones, Avaya's convergence director for Europe, Middle East and Africa said: "Since the installation of the system, Sandwell General is beginning to see the real benefits of a wireless LAN. Ultimately, the LAN will enable the doctors to be truly mobile and give them access to databases, so that they can work efficiently from any point in the hospital. Another potential benefit doctors can expect is faster access to patient records and the ability to update information immediately. The extra time the system is expected to save, means doctors and clinical staff will be able to dedicate more of their time to delivering even better patient care."

 

Avaya worked with its business partner, Telesys Communications to install Avaya AP-3 Wireless LAN Access points to provide wireless coverage in each ward. The AP-3s were chosen because of their ability to support the IEEE 802.11b and IEEE 802.11a wireless standards and the Avaya 54-MegaBit wireless LAN cards. The scaleable AP-3s are connected to a 100 MegaBit Ethernet backbone to access patient records and information held by Sandwell General Hospital.

 

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than one million businesses around the world, including 90 percent of the Fortune 500. A world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP) telephony systems, communications software applications and services, Avaya is driving the convergence of voice and data applications across IT networks enabling businesses large and small to leverage existing and new networks to enhance value, improve productivity and gain competitive advantage. For more information visit the Avaya Web site: http://www.avaya.com

 

About Telesys Communications
Telesys has been in business since 1988 and has established its nationwide reputation for providing high quality telecommunications planning and installation services based upon simple but effective principles: total quality standards, effective solutions, meeting customers' needs. All staff are highly trained and hold relevant qualifications in each of the companies' key business areas. For more information contact Telesys at: +44 01902 754043 / Telesys@fsmail.net

 

About Sandwell General Hospital
Sandwell General Hospital, part of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, is a busy acute teaching hospital in West Bromwich which provides an extensive range of general and specialist hospital services to the residents of Sandwell as well as to neighbouring districts of Birmingham, Dudley, Wolverhampton, Walsall and further afield.

 

The hospital has 557 beds and provides a comprehensive range of medical and nursing services including general medicine, surgery, urology, plastic surgery, orthopaedics, gastroenterology, rheumatology, cardiology, maternity and paediatrics. These services are supported by laboratory imaging and paramedical services.

 

Recently, Sandwell General has undergone substantial investment with million pound modernisation projects such as the new MRI building, the development of a Medical Admissions Unit and a doubling of the Intensive Care Facilities.

 

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