Avaya Introduces Health Care UC Solutions

Avaya Inc. has announced new and enhanced communications solutions designed to help health-care providers improve the quality of patient care, while increasing ROI and savings. The new solutions use unified communications to enable health-care companies to address key processes such as care coordination and patient flow, and help ensure their efficient operation.

“Addressing care coordination in health care is critical so nurses and clinicians can spend more valuable time caring for patients,” said Sanjeev Gupta, general manager of Avaya’s Healthcare Solutions group. “Efficient patient flow is also essential to help health-care 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 health-care personnel can focus on first-class clinical care.”

The new solutions include:

  • Mobile Device Checkout: This solution, which can offer ROI in six months, 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 the addition of 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, built-in RFID technology now 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 lack of nurse time spent with patients. Studies have shown that less than 19 percent of nurse time is spent on direct patient care activities and almost 7 percent of time is spent walking, retrieving and delivering items.
  • Avaya’s addressed this problem with a solution that allows patients to simply press the nurse-call button to directly reach an attending nurse at all times. This enables a better nurse-call response workflow so that patients can get faster care, and nurses can have a better work environment through reduced walking, less interruptions and more patient interaction.
  • Patient Appointment Reminder: Patient “no-shows” or “do-not-attends” drive significant costs. For instance, in the United Kingdom, do-not-attends cost the National Health Service (NHS) over $940 million (£600M) annually. This solution automates outbound calls to remind patients in advance 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.
  • Patient Admit Coordinator: This 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 slow, and the stages involved can inhibit “patient flow,” tying up beds. Patient Admit lets a nurse automate the process using multi-modal communications (e-mail, IM, voice) to notify the hospital, doctors, pharmacy and key departments involved in admitting a patient from the emergency department. The system moves each stage forward upon approval, and coordinates steps needed to get a patient out of the ER and into the hospital. “Closed-loop” communications accelerates the process, allowing ER physicians to attain approvals from admitting physicians in a more efficient manner.

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

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