Phyllis Lotus Stevenson
A Summary on Convergence of Voice and Data
As our community seeks after improved quality and technological advancements for their care, hospitals and clinics find themselves moving toward a change in the structure and goals that they must pursue to meet these demands. Joanne Cummings (2005) describes one such healthcare system in MetroHealth System whose "Convergence for critical care" is a newly developed "state-of-the-art wireless data and VoIP system" (p. 2) used to meet the need for seamless effective care in critical situations. Based in Cleveland, MetroHealth and their "Critical Care Pavilion" is an emergency department that communicates with 17 surgical suites through a wireless network using data and voice to link together physicians, nurses, and providers without the wait (Cummings, 2005, p. 1).
The development of this system was pioneered by the leaders Vince Miller, vice president and CIO, along with Joan McFaul, director of IT infrastructure at MetroHealth System. They combined the VoIP wireless network for a larger ethernet coverage with the SpectraLink's 2211 wireless phones, and the Spectralink Voice Protocol (SVP) server software all loaded on the Catalyst 4507 to handle the voice and data needs (Cummings, 2005, p. 2).
This system allows a Level I trauma center to provide safe and effect care seemlessly to the 70,000 critical care patients yearly (Cummings, 2005, p. 2). The system allows physicians to call colleagues for advice or further assistance while at a patient bedside via the SpectraLink 2211 wireless phone. It provides the nurse with the ability call a fellow nurse or nurses aide when assistance is needed in the patient room. The nurses are alerted to changes in their patient's vital signs to provided immediate attention. Code blues or emergency calls are linked through the VoIP system to alert staff to respond...