The Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust has signed a multi-million-pound agreement to use Cisco technology to provide a state-of-the-art network infrastructure across the network of hospitals. The new network is expected to help reduce costs, improve access to healthcare information, and provide patients with services faster and more efficiently. The choice was made following a significant period of research by the Trust’s IT team, which included a visit to St Olav’s University Hospital in Trondheim, Norway, widely regarded as a flagship ‘connected hospital’ in Europe. The project is expected to start this month and to be completed by March 2010 and will be implemented and supported by NextiraOne UK, a Cisco Gold Certified Partner. The Cisco Medical-Grade Network will include many of Cisco’s portfolio of products, including foundational networking technologies delivering highly secure, high-performance fixed and wireless networking, centralised Wi-Fi, Unified Communications software, collaboration tools, network security products, and location-based services. The solution will support a broad range of applications to help improve the delivery of healthcare services. A wireless network will provide real-time access to information at the bedside and help ensure that clinicians can be contacted anywhere on campus. RFID (radio frequency identification) systems will be installed to monitor and locate expensive equipment. Ian Smith, Head of Service Design and Innovation for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said, “The Cisco Medical-Grade Network will help the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust transform the way we deliver healthcare by enabling us to readily and cost-effectively exploit the capability of new technologies that can genuinely help improve patient care, such as helping to reduce overall patient waiting times and reducing the need for patients to duplicate information by providing access to all relevant information at the point of care. “What we are planning is an infrastructure platform where clinicians can access, share and collaborate on healthcare information faster and in a more efficient way. The Cisco technology will help the Trust capture cost efficiencies, help increase the coordination and integration of care across organisational boundaries, enable greater collaboration of clinical teams to deliver more efficient and effective care, and reconfigure service delivery towards more out-patient, day patient and community care.” Andrew Fearn, Director of Health Informatics at the Trust, added, “This announcement marks an important step towards our declared aim of being the best teaching acute trust by 2016. We envisage that the new network will offer huge benefits to the ‘releasing time to care’ program, enabling our clinical staff to spend more time caring for our patients and ensuring that the most current information is always available at the point of care.” “The Cisco Medical-Grade Network connects all stakeholders in the healthcare system to one information and communications infrastructure as a connected healthcare ecosystem and provides the foundation for advanced healthcare solutions,” said Terry Espiner, Regional Sales Manager for Cisco. “The Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust is set to become one of the UK’s showcase examples of how healthcare providers can use networking technologies to transform the delivery of healthcare services.”

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