Birmingham Children's Hospital deploys unified comms for emergency care

Birmingham Children’s Hospital has adopted a unified communications platform to improve staff management and help deliver better care.

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Birmingham Children’s Hospital has adopted a unified communications platform to improve staff management and help deliver better care.

The bespoke touchscreen telephone conferencing system will potentially save valuable decision time in the care of critically ill patients, said the hospital.

Unify implemented the OpenScape Xpert system for Birmingham Children’s Hospital to make the handling of referrals and complex unplanned emergency conference calls more efficient.

OpenScape Xpert has been installed in the main hub of the Kids Intensive Care and Decision Support (KIDS) service based at the hospital. KIDS provides urgently needed assistance to clinicians in hospitals across the West Midlands who are treating critically ill babies, children and young people.

All calls to the KIDS 24/7 referral single number hotline are immediately assessed, managed and triaged by the KIDS consultant paediatric intensivist in conjunction with other specialists.

The system has been designed so that it significantly enhances logistical and clinical decision making for the KIDS team. It brings together the right doctors and nurses and other specialists at the right time, said the hospital, to improve the speed and effectiveness of establishing the 1,600 complex unplanned emergency conference calls that occur each year.

Phil Wilson, KIDS lead nurse at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, said: "The additional flexibility and utility of this system allows users to be transferred between calls, to leave and rejoin, and allows the KIDS operator to create and deconstruct conferences whilst still holding individual personnel on the console."

He said: "This allows expert medical staff and other key personnel to be manoeuvred into and out of whichever call they are needed, so that more than one case and complex discussions can take place simultaneously.

“This facilitates rapid resolution of clinical and logistical intricacies to the benefit of patients and families. The touchscreen console is simple to set up, and means the call handling environment is visualised, facilitating logical and intuitive conference call management.”

The application sits on top of the hospital’s existing OpenScape platform. This includes a 24/7, single number freephone, ensuring that the 10-20 calls that the unit handles every hour are responded to appropriately and effectively.

David Marshall, head of IT at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, said: “This solution will not only benefit Birmingham Children’s Hospital but will allow the referring hospitals who ring the KIDS service to benefit from more efficient handling of emergency paediatric calls."