IBM has announced new services to help healthcare organisations implement wireless mobility solutions to meet their 21st century objectives towards efficiency and quality. For many facilities, an investment in wireless communications is the first step in achieving a digital “hospital of the future,” starting with enhanced communication networks that improve clinician speed and accuracy in decision-making. IBM Enterprise Mobility Services for healthcare providers give clinicians and nursing staff wireless communications and real-time access to patient records anywhere on the facility premises. Using critical information and communications available on demand at the patient bedside, in examination rooms or in emergency treatment centers, mobility solutions allow practitioners to stay in continuous contact, to effectively develop and deliver patient assessments, and to make more informed care decisions based on collaborative treatment plans. Hospitals around the globe are turning to IBM to provide wireless communication networks and solutions that can help healthcare providers improve patient response time, while increasing clinical staff communication and efficiencies. Saint Barnabas Medical Center, New Jersey’s oldest and largest nonprofit, non-sectarian hospital has implemented a wireless communications platform used by all department managers and Emergency Department physicians. Due to the success of the initial rollout, Saint Barnabas recently expanded to obstetrical residents, code team and anesthesia in the near future, as well as environmental services staff to improve turnover times in the Operating Room and food service staff to improve patient satisfaction. “The clinical value of this platform is exceptional – we’ve already seen incredible benefit from groups including the rapid response team, pharmacy, transport and operating room staff,” said Michael McTigue, chief information officer, Saint Barnabas Hospital. The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), a specialist paediatric hospital in Melbourne, Australia, turned to IBM and IBM Business Partners to deliver a seamless mobile communications architecture that would enable clinicians to contact each other from anywhere in the hospital, and that would require minimal end-user training. Because the IBM solution leverages the hospital’s existing wireless Cisco infrastructure, RCH was able to achieve immediate benefit with limited upfront investment. “With its expertise in solving operational problems and enabling point-to-point or point-to-many communications, IBM was able to take a strategic objective for RCH and deliver a systematic solution,” said Ian Rodgers, chief information officer, The Royal Children’s Hospital. “The communications architecture allows clinicians to focus their time and attention on patients and clinical issues, rather than on technology — this has directly benefited patient care and increased staff morale.” Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH), a large urban, full-service community hospital in Ontario, has introduced a state-of-the-art mobile communications network to the Emergency Department and Complex Continuing Care Department. The project depends on the availability of a robust and secure wireless network infrastructure — a wireless network engineered to support voice, facilitates integration with various systems and is “future proofed” to support future demands. The IBM solution included a unique combination of Cisco wireless network, wireless communication devices from Vocera, and real-time event driven notification software from GlobeStar Systems. The hospital estimates that upon project completion, approximately 800 critical care staff members will be using the hospital’s innovative wireless communicators. According to Ralph Fernando, VP Corporate Support & Chief Financial Officer of Toronto East General, “By introducing IBM wireless communication and the Vocera System throughout the hospital, we hope to have multiple positive impacts including improve staff safety, and more timely communication in the hospital that will help improve patient flow.” IBM mobility services for healthcare providers help organizations reduce costs by allowing for the integration of multiple wireless and voice networks to enhance and simplify communication and reduce redundant system management processes. “In an environment where anytime, anyplace communications is critical, wireless and mobility solutions allow healthcare providers to dramatically improve decision-making processes and bring more resources directly to the patient,” said Laurence Guihard-Joly, vice president Integrated Communications Services, IBM Global Technology Services. “These new services deliver a communication platform with instant wireless communications and real time location and event-driven, intelligent notification to help healthcare organizations improve clinical effectiveness, productivity and risk management while increasing patient care.” IBM Global Technology Services works with leading wireless technology providers in the industry, including Aeroscout, Cisco, Ekahau, GlobeStar Systems, Motorola, Polycom, Vocera Communications to provide an integrated solution allowing clients to benefit from the integration of next-generation mobile, wireless and real time location technologies addressing their business objectives.