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iVision Solution Pays off for Clever Health Initiatives at the Grampians Rural Health Alliance

Video conferencing infrastructure gets a clean bill of health in latest quarterly review
  • 25 September, 2009 12:14

<p>Melbourne, 25 September 2009</p>
<p>Improved psychiatric support, patient discharge planning sessions, access to dialysis support nurses and wound care consultants, and more flexible staff training options are among the main changes attributable to the Grampians Rural Health Alliance (GRHA) video conferencing deployment announced today. The project aims to deliver more effective patient treatment and better peer support by sharing expertise and resources across a broadband video conference network linking more than 40 health facilities in Western Victoria.</p>
<p>The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, said Grampians Rural Health Alliance was at the forefront of a new wave of broadband-enabled healthcare applications.</p>
<p>“Enabling e-health applications like video conferencing for patient care is a key objective of the Rudd Government’s investment in the National Broadband Network,” Senator Conroy said.</p>
<p>“The NBN will serve all Australians, no matter where they choose to live and work, and will provide the enabling platform for a whole range of future remote health applications.”</p>
<p>Over 1,100 hours of video conferencing were notched up on the network during the three months to 1 July 2009. Demand for video conferencing between health agencies increased 43% over the previous quarter and was approximately 34% higher than usage during the same period in 2008. Booked video conferences increased by 35% over the previous quarter while ad-hoc conferences increased by 50%.</p>
<p>These findings are reported quarterly to identify the usage and benefits of the federally funded Clever Health initiative to the health services in the Grampians region of Western Victoria. The increased usage and adoption are a result of the consultative approach, integration and managed services from iVision, the architect and systems integrator responsible for delivering the video conferencing solution to the Grampians Rural Health Alliance.</p>
<p>A Clever Networks Initiative</p>
<p>The project to establish the Grampians Rural Health Alliance video conferencing service started in 2005. In 2007 the project was extended when additional funding was received through the Clever Networks Innovative Services Delivery Program from the Department of Broadband, Communication and Digital Economy.</p>
<p>Since the project's inception, iVision has provided consultancy, implementation and integration and managed services to the Alliance.</p>
<p>“iVision was selected as a partner in the Clever Health project by Grampians Rural Health Alliance due to their experience in implementing and integrating video conferencing solutions on converged networks and their focus on the simplified user experience using technology. They have proven capabilities in listening, and understanding the requirements of the end users and designing innovative solutions that meet these requirements," stated David Ryan, Executive Officer of GRHA.</p>
<p>iVision has also overseen the design and development of the highly-customised, integrated and mobile MediLink video conferencing units which have proven instrumental in encouraging health agency participation and increased usage of the service.</p>
<p>The mobility and simplicity of the MediLink units have made them particularly suitable for clinical support, supervision and mentoring. In addition to their installation in emergency departments, the units are being used by acute care nurses, district nurses and others to consult with wound care specialists on the needs of individual patients. Ultimately with the MediLink systems, health services in the Grampians region are able to provide patients with immediate care – necessary when treating wounds - by specialists typically not available in remote areas such as the Grampians. The MediLink units are also providing additional support for the region's dialysis chairs and have reduced the need to transfer patients to Melbourne. Again, providing quicker care and making specialised care more available to patients.</p>
<p>Graham Williams, Managing Director, iVision, said, “The Clever Health funding made it possible to extend the reach of the network and through a successful partnership with the customer, we were able to provide a series of services that enabled mobility and reliability to their video conferencing service. This is all now paying off with exponential increases in the use of the network by health agencies. It is also giving rise to new and innovative uses of the technology for peer support an enhanced patient care.”</p>
<p>Video conferencing growth areas</p>
<p>Between December 2008 and July 2009 over 1,800 staff used the network to participate in e-learning courses. e-learning is proving to be an important component of the Clever Health project, delivering significant productivity gains by reducing staff travel time and costs, and removing the need to replace staff on the floor while they attend training.</p>
<p>Video conferencing demand was also strong among the region's psychiatric services which are increasingly relying on video conferencing for staff meetings, training, exam preparation and student supervision. The service is being used to conduct patient care conferences and to bring together agencies and families when planning patient discharges. It is reducing travel demands on staff and enabling more effective coordinated support for patients and their families.</p>
<p>Another growth area is among health agencies with multiple campuses. During the past year such agencies have recorded a 400% increase in use of the video conferencing service, citing the need to involve staff in planning while reducing the need to routinely travel extended distances.</p>
<p>“Video conferencing is an exceptional way of supporting medical service delivery and iVision is delighted to have been able to play a part in such a worthwhile project,” Williams added.</p>
<p>The Grampians Rural Health Alliance video conference network currently includes more than 40 Tandberg video conferencing units, 17 MediLink mobile video conferencing units and 23 room-based units.</p>
<p>About iVision</p>
<p>iVision is the leading Australian systems integrator providing Unified Communications (UC) products and solutions The company has unparalleled capability in visual communications and supports the audio visual integration required for video conferencing solutions. The company also has strengths and experience in core networking and IP telephony. Although product and technology are important for a UC solution, iVision leads with services designed to support organisations with their initial and ongoing UC requirements. iVision’s range of services include Consultation and Design, Implementation and Integration, Managed Services, Hosted Services, and Usage and Adoption Services.</p>
<p>iVision customers include Ergon Energy, Google, iSoft, Monash University, Pfizer, and Queensland Tafe.</p>

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