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A Clear Case for Mobile Collaboration in Healthcare

In early April, I attended the HIMSS show in Chicago where I showcased our enhanced mobile collaboration applications. One of our solutions featured the Cisco Unified Personal Communicator application on newly Cisco certified Mobile Clinical Assistants (tablet PC’s designed for the healthcare environment) and the ability to share high bandwidth images over the Cisco 802.11n network. I also demonstrated the integration of location information made available by the Cisco WLAN on the Cisco 7925 Wireless IP phone. This information allows nurses to quickly locate medical equipment, patients and members of the healthcare team. Our demo’s generated a lot of interest and I was overwhelmed by the positive response from customers who agreed that these solutions would make a difference in the productivity of caregivers who are the backbone of the healthcare system.Further validating the feedback from HIMSS, on my return I received a new survey of practicing nurses which was commissioned by our healthcare team. The study demonstrated the economic impact of communication lapses in the healthcare environment. The numbers were staggering. As many as 10 hours of overtime per week was directly related to communication difficulties and 86% of the respondents indicated that they spent about two hours per shift chasing other care team members for answers. The survey further highlighted that the most important information needed by nurses at the point of care was the availability and location of the care team and the need to integrate multiple applications such as presence and location on a single device. The feedback from HIMSS as well as the information gathered by the survey clearly makes a business case for deploying mobile collaboration solutions to optimize productivity gains and enhance patient care. I’d like to highlight the top 3 technical considerations to help realize the expected ROI. First is to identify the services that will be enabled on the network i.e voice, location or both. Second is to design and deploy the network to support the required services with the appropriate QoS and security. For example, enabling voice solutions requires a dense WLAN deployment with a high QoS. Another consideration could be the deployment of a 802.11n network especially to support high-bandwidth, mission critical applications. Third is to select the most relevant devices based on the end users needs, while ensuring that the devices have been tested for interoperability with the WLAN for an optimal experience. Cisco has over 70% market share in wireless within the HC industry,based on analyst reports, and has defined best practices and deployment guidelines to simplify and accelerate the adoption of these solutions. For additional information on Cisco’s healthcare solutions, please visit http://cisco.com/web/strategy/healthcare/clinical_collaboration.htmlimage

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6 Comments.


  1. Hi Martine, I have very limited knowledge on UC and getting to understand the healthcare industry in terms of what is needed as a new service. I have couple of questions, 1. What are the specific areas of HL7 standards do you think should be a value added to the solutions like yours as explained above? 2. Where can I find some top challenges in current healthcare industries around the globe? Please let me know if this is not the right forum to ask these questions.ThanksRam

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  2. Curt Mah

    Hi Ram:Thanks for your comments. The top challenges that healthcare facilities are facing include system demands caused by an aging population, improving the quality of care, digitization of medical information, and staffing shortages. You can get more details here:http://cisco.com/web/strategy/docs/healthcare/connected_health_brochure.pdfhttp://cisco.com/web/strategy/healthcare/index.htmlThe solution that Martine describes above improves the clinician and patient experience by quickly providing data at the handheld device level. The HL7 interfaces reside at the EMR application layer, and so the UC piece does not interfere with the HL7 integration level. Feel free to email me if you have more specific questions.ThanksCurt

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  3. Martine Velkeniers

    Hi Cera,The following 3 Mobile Clinical Assistants that are certified on on the Cisco wireless network the MOTION C5, PANASONIC THOUGHBOOK and the PILIPS FIMI. Pansonic and Philips both support 802.11n, which significanly increases the throughput, reliabiity and performance of high bandwidth applications such as image sharing. I will send you a slide with a picture and the technical specifications for each of the Mobile Clinical Assistants. ThanksMartine

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  4. hi ramplease, where could i find more info about Cisco certified Mobile Clinical Assistants”” that you’ve been using during the presentation?maybe you have some ppt to send me? tnx!Cera”

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  5. Mobile collaboration in the health care industry is going to be very important in the years to come.

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  6. Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!

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