A Medical Device Daily

A hospital's worst nightmare is having its communications system go down. But thanks to the mobile assessment and guidance provided by InfoLogix (Hatboro, Pennsylvania), Sisters of Mercy Health System (Chesterfield, Missouri) has rolled out one of America's largest wireless Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (IP-DECT) systems.

Using more than 200 handsets across three campuses, doctors, nurses and patients at Mercy hospitals now benefit from more robust communications that enable faster response times to patient needs and a higher quality of care.

Instead of using pagers, InfoLogix has provided the nurses on Mercy campuses with a mobile wireless handset solution that enables rapid transmission and receipt of critical information, as well as more efficient handling of patient care requests.

After assessing Mercy's communications system, InfoLogix suggested the new system's VoIP Gateway component, which enables nurses to make internal and external calls using the handsets.

The systems behind the handsets are based on IP-DECT, which delivers secure wireless mobile voice, messaging, and alert communications to nurses, even if the hospital's main system goes offline.

InfoLogix deployed 160 wireless Ascom 9d24 MkII IP-DECT handsets on Mercy's Springfield campus, running on 105 base stations on the Wireless Local Area Network. InfoLogix also installed a total of 80 handsets and 40 base stations across Mercy's Independence, Kansas, hospital and Fort Scott, Kansas, campus.

"Wireless mobile systems are essential for eliminating communication barriers in a healthcare facility, and keeping the entire staff connected, informed, and engaged," said Felix Merlino, manager, telecommunications, of Sisters of Mercy Health System.

"Our new wireless IP-DECT communications system enables us to fulfill our commitment to serving patients with the highest levels of safety and care," he said. "InfoLogix provided the technical expertise, dedication, and customer service necessary to create a solution that fit our needs and budget, and helped us create a wireless communications system that will meet the demands of our hospital workflow and patient needs."

Mercy deployed the system because it wanted to upgrade from its WiFi system, which covered only crucial-care units. Mercy sought an IP-DECT solution that could be integrated into its disaster recovery and nurse call systems, while also covering the entire hospital, so nurses could be reached anywhere. Lastly, the handsets had to be durable and to include functions beyond basic calling.

In other agreements/contracts news, Premier Purchasing Partners (San Diego) reported new agreements for automated endoscopic reprocessors with Minntech (Minneapolis) and Steris (Mentor, Ohio).

Effective March 1, the 36-month agreements are available to acute- and continuum-of-care members of the Premier healthcare alliance.

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