Ascom (US) Inc., a leading provider of on-site wireless communications solutions, is pleased to announce that it has been selected as the VoWiFi wireless handset and messaging middleware vendor of choice for Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS), the third largest public healthcare system in the United States. CHS and its flagship hospital, Carolinas Medical Center, are using Ascom’s FreeNET VoWiFi standards-based system to provide quicker response and improved communication for clinical caregivers. When complete in late 2008, it is expected that CHS will have one of the largest, most expansive healthcare industry deployments of VoWiFi wireless handsets in the country.
“When evaluating the on-site wireless market for healthcare, we were looking for a partner that was flexible enough to provide innovative solutions for our dynamic environment,” said Clay Fisher, Director at CHS. “After extensive research and testing, we determined that Ascom’s purpose-built wireless handsets would be able to withstand the rigors of our clinical environment. Using Ascom’s UNITE Messaging Suite, the handsets integrate seamlessly with our nurse call and pulse oximetry systems, allowing for our caregivers to automatically receive necessary alerts and critical information immediately as needed. The combined solutions have allowed our clinicians to communicate more quickly, increasing overall efficiency. As a result, clinician response time has shortened and significant time losses in the workflow have been eliminated. More specifically, the deployments have resulted in an average time savings of 30 minutes per care-giver per shift – which has directly attributed to an increase of key patient satisfaction scores by upwards of 10%.”
“We are honored to assist Carolinas HealthCare System in its mission to create and operate a comprehensive system to provide healthcare and related services for the benefit of the people it serves,” said Tom McKearney, Executive Vice President of Marketing & Business Development at Ascom. “Ascom prides itself on designing customized solutions for the unique communication needs of each of our customers. Carolinas HealthCare System’s willingness to innovate using technology to redefine patient care and communication workflow has made them an ideal partner. We look forward to our continued innovation working in tandem with the System to take patient care further into the 21st century.”
Ascom is the only wireless provider in the industry that manufactures both purpose-built wireless handsets and middleware allowing seamless integration with existing systems.
The Ascom FreeNET standards-based solution consists of market-specific VoWiFi portable handsets with direct SIP connection or optional VoIP Gateway for integration to an existing circuit-switched PBX. In addition, FreeNET supports IEEE standards, including 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11e (Quality of Service), and 802.11i (Security). The Ascom i75 handset is the industry’s most robust VoWiFi handset, offering many unique advantages, and full compliance with the very latest IEEE 802.11 and Wi-Fi alliance standards.
The Ascom UNITE Messaging Suite is a robust messaging integration solution consisting of small network appliances with Ascom software applications utilizing a Linux kernel – providing unparalleled reliability and stability. UNITE’s lack of moving parts and open architecture platform provides for more reliable operations that are not susceptible to viruses nor require constant updating.
About Carolinas HealthCare System
Carolinas HealthCare System (www.carolinashealthcare.org) is the largest healthcare system in the Carolinas, and the third largest public system in the nation. CHS owns, leases or manages 23 hospitals in North and South Carolina, including Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte and CMC-NorthEast in Concord, a 457-bed medical center which is home to the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital.
CHS employs over 1,000 physicians who practice in more than 275 locations. CHS also operates rehabilitation hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory surgery centers, home health agencies, radiation therapy centers and physical therapy facilities. Together, these operations comprise over 4,900 licensed beds and employ more than 35,000 full-time or part-time employees.
CHS’s flagship facility is Carolinas Medical Center (www.carolinasmedicalcenter.org) in Charlotte, an 874-bed hospital which includes a Level I trauma center, a research institute and a large number of specialty treatment units (heart, cancer, organ transplant, behavioral health, etc.). CMC also serves as one of North Carolina’s five Academic Medical Center Teaching Hospitals, providing residency training for over 200 physicians in 15 specialties. CMC is listed as a “Best Hospital” by U.S. News & World Report for urology, and has been designated 10 times as Charlotte’s “Consumer’s Choice Preferred Hospital” by the National Research Corporation. HealthGrades, a leading healthcare ratings company, named CMC-NorthEast “The Best Hospital in North Carolina” for cardiac services.
Ascom is a leading provider of on-site wireless communications for key segments such as hospitals, manufacturing, retail and hotels. More than 70,000 systems are installed at major companies all over the world. The company offers a broad range of voice and professional messaging solutions, creating value for customers by supporting and optimizing their Mission-Critical Processes. The solutions are based on VoWiFi, IP-DECT, DECT, Nurse Call and paging technologies, smartly integrated into existing enterprise systems. The company has subsidiaries in 10 countries and employs 1,200 people worldwide.