This month’s E-Health Insider industry round-up covers system deployments, new products, and other developments at leading healthcare IT suppliers.

Wirral goes wireless with Aruba

Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has deployed a secure wireless network from Aruba Networks at Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge Hospitals. Peter Marsh, technical director of the Wirral Health Informatics Service, said this would give 2,500 staff reliable and secure access to its electronic patient record and digital imaging systems. “We can now send PACS data securely and reliably to clinicians’ mobile devices, improving efficiency, reducing transcription errors and ensuring that compliance protocols are met,” he said. Aruba claims its Adaptive Radio Management technology lowers the cost of wi-fi deployment and maintenance and improves the performance of wi-fi devices in busy areas such as hospitals.

Newham chooses SRC for speech recognition

Newham University Hospital NHS Trust is to deploy an SRC digital dictation and speech recognition system in its radiology department. The system will enable radiologists, sonographers and reporting radiologists to create documents and reports from voice commands, instead of having to type them. Trust business manager Barry Cotton said the project would build on improved access to diagnostic imaging at Newham and enable staff to produce reports in a self-reliant, efficient and cost-effective way, while supporting the delivery of targets such as the 18 week wait. The system is based on Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 10.

IMS supports mobile healthcare in Greater Manchester

IMS’ web-enabled Maxims solution is being used by Care UK to support seven mobile clinical units in Greater Manchester. The solution will support the business processes of the new units, which have been developed in collaboration with Manchester Primary Care Trust as part of its Clinical Assessment and Treatment Services project. The units will give residents easier access to a range of assessments and minor treatments within musculoskeletal, general surgery, ear nose and throat, gynaecology and urology services. IMS Maxims will allow Care UK to manage clinical notes and patient care by accessing a central system, even while the unique units are ‘in the field.’

ExtraMed launches Mobile Medic

ExtraMed has launched and It product to help doctors and nurses working in hospitals at night to prioritise patients and receive real time updates on clinical issues. The Mobile Medic has been developed in partnership with East Cheshire NHS Trust. It allows doctors and other staff to view worklists and patient information from PDAs, using a web link. Night staff can prioritise work by clinical need, alert others using an interactive bleeping system, and audit activity. Sarah Rathmill, Taking Care 24/7 project manager, said the system had allowed the hospital at night team to work more efficiently and that it would help the trust to implement the European Working Time Directive in a clinically safe manner.

More productive wards at Walsall Manor Hospital

Walsall Manor Hospital has been commended for ‘exceptional practice’ by NHS West Midlands for its work on the national Releasing Time to Care: Productive Ward programme. Wards involved in piloting the programme, which is supported by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, were able to reduce the time it took to serve meals, review medications and conduct handovers. An electronic handover template has been developed to reduce the handover process by thirty minutes per staff member – or 6.5 hours per day of nursing time. The hospital has now been given funding to continue the work for another year.

POWERtec adds bank management facilities to Optimize

POWERtec Systems and Consultancy has enhanced its Optimize workforce management system by adding bank management facilities. Optimize can now identify gaps in rotas and publicise them to staff through the self-service module or over the web. SMS text messaging can also be used to alert nurses outside the trust to opportunities that might be of interest to them. The company says this eliminates the gap between rostering and the bank system, which makes little sense now that both permanent and bank staff need to work flexibly.

Vocera opens technical support centre

Vocera Communications has opened a new technical support centre in Reading and launched a regionalised web site. The centre will work with Vocera’s North America support centre in California to provide the company’s premier support customers with extended live technical support. Michael Hutchinson, managing director of Vocera UK, said it also confirmed its commitment to the UK. Vocera is an instant communication system that works over a wireless network. It allows healthcare and other staff to communicate with each other using a one-button activated badge and saying the name, group or function they need. It is now used by a number of NHS trusts.