KIDS at Birmingham Children’s Hospital improves clinical decision time with Unify

UC station improves unplanned emergency conference call management for fastest paediatric retrieval service in the UK

A new bespoke touchscreen telephone conferencing system installed in a specialist children’s hospital in the West Midlands will potentially save valuable decision time in the care of critically-ill patients.

Unify has implemented the OpenScape Xpert system for Birmingham Children’s Hospital – the first European healthcare deployment.

By making the handling of referrals and complex unplanned emergency conference calls more efficient, Birmingham Children’s Hospital can speed up the decision-making process for medical experts.

By migrating from a mixed TDM platform to a data-centric offering for resilience and applications, Unify has provided the Birmingham Children’s Hospital with a completely new and revolutionary way to work

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, which has been two years in production, 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 to improve the speed and effectiveness of establishing the 1,600 complex unplanned emergency conference calls that occur each year. It will further support the fastest paediatric retrieval service in the UK as OpenScape Xpert will speed up transport team dispatch and support which is vital to improving the delivery of timely solutions to critically-ill babies, children and young across the West Midlands.

Phil Wilson, KIDS lead nurse at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, said: “KIDS is delighted to have had the opportunity to work with Unify to develop and implement the OpenScape Xpert platform. 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 while still holding individual personnel on the console. 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 system also brings the benefits of seamless integration with existing enterprise telephony solutions, as 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.

It really is a transformational move in terms of integrated working, not only for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, but the medical industry as a whole

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. We are incredibly well positioned for the future, and with Unify’s next-generation technologies Birmingham Children’s Hospital is really setting the standard for other children’s hospitals in the country to follow in terms of highly-responsive patient-care.”

George Aristidou, sales director for Hi Touch at Unify, added: “By migrating from a mixed TDM platform to a data-centric offering for resilience and applications, Unify has provided the Birmingham Children’s Hospital with a completely new and revolutionary way to work. The OpenScape Xpert terminal balances innovative features and unparalleled flexibility against the security and reliability required of such a critical system, which is of utmost importance when people’s lives are at stake.

“It really is a transformational move in terms of integrated working, not only for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, but the medical industry as a whole. The success of this project is due to the collaborative partnership between the hospital’s clinicians and all IT staff.

“Having a deep understanding of the hospital’s needs allowed us to develop this bespoke system. It is the first OpenScape Xpert solution that we have deployed within healthcare in Europe, and we’re delighted that the hospital is already realising the benefits. It really does serve as a reminder of the power of technology.”

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