VoIP: a matter of life and death

I just had a fascinating conversation with a couple of IT guys who work for a new community hospital in Southern California. I can't name the facility just yet, but I may be able to in a few weeks.

I just had a fascinating conversation with a couple of IT guys who work for a new community hospital in Southern California. I can't name the facility just yet, but I may be able to in a few weeks.

Anyway, they were telling me that VoIP is far and away the best way for nurses to communicate with physicians who may not be on the premises. The speed and efficiency of such communications can save lives.

This particular hospital shares many of their docs with affiliated facilities, ramping up the issue. The problem, though, is not the fact that the docs are not always on the grounds.It's just that standard telephony isn't the best means for nurses to call docs.

Here's the problem, and the opportunity:

If nurses use their cell phone to call off-premise docs from a patient's room, that cell phone can emit signals that could interfere with equipment necessary to monitor the patient's health.

If nurses go to their station to place a land-line call, that switchboard may or may not have the technical means to flash a specific caller I.D. number of the nurse that placed the call. That lack of capability can cause calls to go unanswered.

This particular hospital figured it out by buying around 25 VoIP phones. These phones operate at low power levels minimizing risk of interference with sensitive medical equipment.

The wireless telephones also offer hospital staff a private means of communication that unlike badges,
intercoms or walkie-talkies - do not broadcast sensitive information.

Is there a related function in your industry that would benefit from VoIP. Post a TalkBack and let us know.