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September 11, 2007

Nortel Collaborates with Baylor Medical Center to Implement Integrated Wireless Communications

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The radiology department at Baylor Medical Center at Dallas now has the ability to securely send medical orders directly to radiology technicians wirelessly thanks to Nortel (News - Alert). The company has successfully implemented a uniquely integrated communication system for the medical center.

This new system allows staff to receive medical orders anywhere on the hospital’s 120 acre campus on a handheld device, which is expected to improve business processes associated with time-to-diagnosis, workflow and patient care.

Part of Nortel’s Healthcare Solutions portfolio, this solution was designed in collaboration with Baylor’s Information Technology department to improve patient care. By relaying physician orders through instant messaging to radiology technicians equipped with Unified Communication-enabled BlackBerry (News - Alert) devices, the technicians are able to receive order requests more rapidly, including patient location and severity of need.

It is believed that this is the first use of instant messaging and presence on mobile devices to improve efficiency and productivity in a healthcare environment.

"Nortel has worked with our other technology vendors to improve communications in our radiology department, resulting in efficiencies in patient care," said Don Allen, director of radiology, Baylor University Medical Center, in a statement.

Allen continued: "This technology enables technicians to receive their next assignment from any floor in the hospital - without having to return to the department following each procedure. We hope to increase productivity and also to speed the availability of diagnostic information for the physician to make a diagnosis. We foresee extending this type of technology to different departments throughout the hospital."

"Baylor exemplifies excellence in patient care, medical education and research," said Charles Salameh, vice president, Network Business Solutions, Nortel, in a statement. "Solutions like this one are designed to help Baylor further its reputation as an industry leader and innovator, improving quality of patient care by enhancing communications and operational efficiency."

The Baylor University Medical Center solution consists of the Multimedia Communications Server 5100, a unified communications platform that integrates IP telephony, multimedia conferencing, instant messaging, presence and other collaboration tools.

The solution provides technologists in the radiology department anytime, anywhere access to communications for greater mobility, productivity and effectiveness while helping to reduce communication costs.

Nortel is also providing a full suite of design, deployment and maintenance services from the Nortel Global Services portfolio, thus allowing Baylor to focus on its core business of patient care. Nortel's Global Services include network application, implementation, management and support for end-to-end, multi-vendor, multi-technology networks.  The complete Nortel Healthcare Solution for Baylor was coordinated through Nortel channel partner Xeta Technologies.
This new solution from Nortel is virtually guaranteed to improve the patient experience in the Medical Center. For many patients, testing is a stressful situation and frustrating waits or communication errors can result in increased stress, making the experience even more unpleasant for the patient. In such an environment, the goal must be to improve the experience, not make it worse.

Baylor and Nortel have done well to collaborate and develop a solution that not only improves the experience for the patient, but also improves on efficiency and productivity, which can be a cost saving tool as well. While both companies will have to take care that the technology continues to comply with HIPPA and other privacy laws, the solution is will provide significant benefits to both technicians and patients.

What’s the best resource to learn about latest trends in the IP communications industry? Why, INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO, of course. ITEXPO (News - Alert) West 2007 is just around the corner—this year it’s being held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California, Sept. 10-12. Preview sessions, speakers and exhibitors—then register to attend.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.


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