Healthcare Technology Featured Article

September 02, 2014

Hospice Center Upgrades Unified Communications System

A not-for-profit hospice care center in New Zealand announced this past week that it has updated its communications systems by pairing with several technology providers.

Mercy Hospice Auckland operates a hospice center and seven retail shops within Auckland. This June, reports CIO New Zealand, the care center updated those locations with the Alcatel Lucent Open Touch wireless network, unified communications, and mobility service solutions. The hospice reportedly started out with no UC capabilities whatsoever, but following this summer's upgrade, it began to provide its staff and patients with an infrastructure that could effectively keep them connected. Michael Misomphane, IT co-ordinator at Mercy Hospice Auckland, spoke in a company statement about the hospice's situation and its transformation.

"We really started with zero unified communication capabilities," Misomphane said.

"We had a standard PBX-based telephony system that only offered voice calls," he continued. "The majority of our organization ran on wired connectivity and we relied on AirPort Express for limited wireless connectivity through some parts of our site."

Now, hospital staff and patients can communicate with one another through tools such as live chat and email that all work within a unified framework. The CIO report indicates that the setup of the new network took three months to install. Cogent, a New Zealand-based provider of voice, data, and networking services, reportedly assisted Alcatel Lucent with the installation of the new system.

Unified communications systems can be overwhelming, at times, due to their sheer number of features such as voice and video calling, voicemail, instant messaging, and email support. In order to keep everything streamlined and in order, Mercy Hospice will be also begin using the Alcatel Lucent My Instant Communicator mobile application. It works on Apple and Android devices and can provide users with control over call routing and directory services that are part of the overall UC system. The hospice is reportedly currently testing this application as the second phase of the organization's complete upgrade.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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