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Avaya Introduces Solutions to Help Healthcare Providers Improve Patient Care with Unified Communications



ATLANTA, Ga. - HIMSS Conference and Exhibition - Avaya, Inc., a global leader in enterprise communications systems, today announced new and enhanced communications solutions designed to help healthcare providers improve the quality of patient care, while increasing ROI and savings. The new solutions use unified communications to enable healthcare companies to address key processes such as 'care coordination' and 'patient flow,' and help ensure their efficient operation.


"Addressing care coordination in healthcare is critical so nurses and clinicians can spend more time caring for patients," said Sanjeev Gupta, general manager of Avaya's Healthcare Solutions group. "Efficient patient flow is also essential to help healthcare companies improve operating margins. This is where Avaya's new solutions are uniquely positioned to lead - with automated solutions purpose-built to address these challenges, so healthcare personnel can focus on first-class clinical care."


Global IT spending in healthcare is projected to rise more than 6.2% in 2010, according to research firm IDC(1), as hospitals and care providers seek solutions to efficiently manage care for patients. Avaya estimates the market for unified communications enablement in hospitals in 2010 is $1.5 billion in North America and $3 billion globally.


Avaya's new solutions will be demonstrated at booth #7721 at the 2010 Annual HIMSS Conference and Exhibition managed by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The solutions are:


Mobile Device Checkout: This solution, which can offer ROI in 6 months(2), frees hospital and nursing staff from the tethers of the nurse's station by letting them communicate and receive notifications from anywhere in a hospital using a personalized WLAN mobile device.


With the new version of Mobile Device Checkout, each hospital staff member "checks out" a mobile handset at the beginning of their shift by simply swiping the barcodes on their phone and ID badge. This simple two-step action registers the phone with a unique phone number, eliminating complex login procedures or the need for staff members to get a new contact number every time they come to work.


Enhancements include role-based capabilities that enable, for example, a doctor to reach "the lead surgical nurse," as opposed to making multiple calls to find out who is in that role in a given shift. Additionally, new built-in RFID technology lets hospital staff keep track of associates by viewing a hospital map on a computer screen.


Nurse Call Response: Hospitals can face poor patient satisfaction and high nurse turnover, due to the diminished time nurses spend with patients. Studies show that less than 19% of nurse time is spent on direct patient care activities and almost 7% of time is spent walking to retrieve and deliver items(3).


Avaya addresses this problem with a solution letting patients press the nurse-call button to directly reach an attending nurse (instead of reaching the nurse station). This improves nurse-call response workflow so patients can get faster care, and nurses can have a better work environment through reduced walking and more patient interaction.


The solution also delivers improved ROI. In a study done by an independent global consulting firm(4), Avaya's Nurse Call Response was shown to deliver up to 2 hour time savings per nurse shift, enabling more time for patient interaction. These savings can help deliver a net benefit of 150% of investment in less than a year.


Patient Appointment Reminder: Patient "do-not-attends" cause significant costs. For instance, in the UK, do-not-attends cost the National Health Service (NHS) over $940 million (£600M) annually.(5) This solution automates outbound calls to remind patients of appointments and gain a confirmation they will attend. It allows prompts or speech automation to engage patients, who can obtain answers to basic questions, or reach a live agent for rescheduling.


In an NHS study conducted by Tony Rich, independent consultant to the NHS and other European healthcare providers, it was concluded that Avaya Patient Appointment Reminder has the ability to significantly reduce do-not-attends. A reduction of up to 2% alone would result in a net annual benefit of more than $3 million U.S. (£2M) for an average 500-bed NHS hospital.


Patient Admit Coordinator: This 'patient workflow' solution accelerates the hospital admittance process for patients who have been treated in the emergency room (ER). To date, the admission process has been paper-based, and the stages involved can inhibit patient flow, tying up beds. With the average U.S. hospital bed representing $500,000 in revenue per year, Avaya patient workflow solutions can provide a net benefit of $1M for an average 300-400 bed hospital.(6)


Patient Admit Coordinator can reduce the time it takes for emergency room admissions and reduce patient walk outs. It can automate this process using voice, e-mail or IM to notify the key departments involved in admitting a patient from the ER. It moves each stage forward on approval, and coordinates the steps to get patients from the ER into the hospital.


Avaya Mobile Device Checkout is available today; Nurse Call Response and Patient Appointment Reminder are available June 2010; and Patient Admit Coordinator is available July 2010.


Avaya has delivered intelligent enterprise communications solutions to more than 5,000 healthcare institutions, including health systems, doctors' offices and hospitals. This includes one of the largest non-profit healthcare systems in the U.S., Group Health Cooperative, which recently selected Avaya contact center capabilities to solve patient issues; Bert Fish Medical Center, a healthcare complex that improved communications across nine facilities using Avaya solutions; and Intermountain Healthcare, a non-profit healthcare system of 21 hospitals.


Avaya Speakers at HIMSS

On March 2, Avaya will host a "Wireless & Mobility" session to demonstrate the Avaya Notification Solution, which supports Nurse Call Response. Mark Wechsler, Avaya's healthcare program director, moderates. Location: Product Pavilion Room 607, 11-11:45 a.m. Avaya is also sponsoring the HIMSS Advocacy Dinner on Feb. 28. Avaya's Albert Salazar, Technical Director, Federal Solutions, is a featured speaker.


About Avaya

Avaya is a global leader in enterprise communications systems. The company provides unified communications, contact centers, 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


(1) Report: IDC Industry Predictions for 2010 (January 2010)


(2) Based on Avaya estimates


(3) Hendrich A, Chow M, Skierczynski B, Lu Z. A 36 Hospital Time and Motion Study: How Do Medical-Surgical Nurses Spend Their Time? The Permanente Journal, Summer 2008, Vol 12 No 3


(4) Study commissioned by Avaya


(5) Tony Rich, independent consultant to the NHS and other European healthcare providers


(6) Avaya figures based on various independent industry sources

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