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Leicester Hospitals Look to Avaya IP Telephony to Help Deliver High Quality Health Care to Patients

07-27-2006
  • One of the UK's top teaching hospitals will rely on Avaya IP telephony system to ensure mobility during refurbishment

University Hospitals in Leicester is using an IP telephony communication system from Avaya to ensure delivery of high quality health care to its patients.

GUILDFORD, UK – University Hospitals in Leicester is using an IP telephony communication system from Avaya (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communications applications, systems and services, to ensure delivery of high quality health care to its patients.

 

The University Hospitals chose an Avaya system to enable the hospital to maintain complete healthcare service while it undergoes a large-scale Private Finance Initiative build and renovation project of its existing operations in Leicester General, Leicester Royal Infirmary and Glenfield hospitals.

 

The move to IP will enable the 11,500 hospitals staff to have much greater mobility and enhanced access to patient information regardless of their location. Once the system has been installed, more clinicians will use wireless handsets, making it possible to locate and contact them within minutes.

 

"We needed to update our non-IP telephony system, which was about 20 years old, and it seemed prudent to retire and replace it with new technology and capabilities during the refurbishment," said Bill Remmer, Assistant Director of Information Management and Technology at University Hospitals Leicester. "We also wanted to improve our capabilities, and the new system will enable us to deliver a better quality of service to our patients. For instance, patients calling will be put through to a doctor either straightaway or faster than before without operators having to call around to locate a particular doctor – and this can really make a difference to a patient's opinion of the hospital and its level of care."

 

The Hospitals specified that their new system must be able to handle the 24 million internal and external calls that the hospitals handle every year, while being flexible enough to support the transitional stages of the refurbishment. To test those capabilities, the Avaya solution, based on Avaya Communication Manager software, is being trialled by 250 senior officials at the hospitals' trust headquarters at Gwendolen House, and will be rolled out across the rest of the network by the end of August.

 

With the Avaya communication system, hospital staff will be able to 'hot desk', moving their personal phone capabilities around the buildings and between sites. Upon logging in, the phone will upload the user's profile and speed dial contacts as if they are at their usual desk. When responding to a page, a doctor will be able to refer to the IP phone directory, instead of having to call the switchboard to check the caller's identity. Also, switchboard operators will have immediate access to information regarding the whereabouts of a doctor and can put calls through to them more quickly and easily, improving response times and efficiency. Avaya's Communication Manager Software will automatically log how long calls take to be connected and performance will be monitored regularly.

 

The refurbishment of the hospitals is taking place over a period of five years. As a result, there will be movement of large scale healthcare services across temporary sites while maintaining complete provision of healthcare at current levels - something that could not be achieved with the hospitals' legacy telephone system. Based upon its rigorous requirements, the trust undertook an assessment of five major IP telephony providers before making its final selection and choosing Avaya.

 

Remmer adds, "The network is extremely complex and will eventually be completely replaced, but this will be a gradual transition. One of the most critical reasons we chose Avaya is the Communication Manager software’s versatility. It works with our existing network without any loss of functionality, something that the other suppliers were simply not able to provide. New users can be added very easily and the system will grow with us, which is ideal for our needs."

 

The hospital is already considering adding more applications, such as video conferencing to reduce the amount of time that staff currently spends travelling between sites, and an Short Message Service (SMS) alert-type system where doctors can be notified when test results are available for a patient, enabling them to be treated faster. Moreover, while doctors are currently having to carry with them at least three devices – a mobile phone, pager and PDA – in future they may only need one device which will encompass all of these functions.

 

Jonathan Buckle, account director for Public Sector Business at Avaya, says, "Since the installation of the system, University Hospitals Leicester is beginning to see the real benefits of IP telephony. Once the pilot stage is complete, we look forward to helping doctors and clinical staff deliver even better patient care."

 

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than one million businesses worldwide, including over 90 per cent of the FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol telephony systems and communications software applications and services.

 

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications - and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services - Avaya helps customers leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. For more information visit the Avaya web site: http://www.avaya.com

 

About University Hospitals Leicester
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) is made up of the three NHS hospitals in Leicester; Glenfield Hospital, Leicester General Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary. It provides services for almost one million people across Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland and beyond.

 

UHL is rated as a three star organisation and is one of Britain's top teaching hospital trusts. Our mission is to give patients the best possible care so that they can live healthier, fuller, longer lives. For more information visit http://www.uhl-tr.nhs.uk

 

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