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Leading Welsh Hospital to Improve Healthcare Provision with Cisco

Cisco Wireless Networking Solution to Help Deliver Healthcare Systems and Information to the Patients' Bedside

London, 13th May, 2008- Clinicians at one of the leading hospitals in Wales are now able to access information about their patients at the bedside. Clinical information including test results and patient records are available electronically throughout the hospital, helping support more efficient treatment as a result of the innovative use of Cisco® technology. The Princess of Wales Hospital, part of the Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust in South Wales and a CHKS* UK Top 40 hospital for the fourth year in succession, has deployed a Cisco wireless Local Area Network (LAN) that enables clinicians to access information about their patients electronically. The wireless carts, with PCs, laptops, and tablet PCs (currently being deployed), will help clinicians spend more time with patients and deliver treatment faster by cutting out the need to go back and forth to other departments or office-based PCs.

The Cisco wireless network will help improve the quality of care and support improvements in clinical processes by allowing clinicians to access records and record information electronically at the point of care. Using the wireless technology clinical processes have been streamlined and improved. Clinical information is recorded during the ward rounds, medications are verified, and drug orders are placed electronically, building up the discharge summary information as it happens. This information is then transmitted electronically to general practitioners, providing them with timely and legible information as soon as the patient is discharged from hospital. This new electronic process means that patients can leave the hospital soon after they are discharged instead of waiting for the relevant administration work to catch up.

"The Cisco wireless technology at the Princess of Wales Hospital is providing the opportunity to modernise the delivery of patient services. Clinicians will have immediate access to clinical information at the point of care. In the Emergency Department for example, consultants will use a tablet PC to look at a patient's pathology test results while at the patient's bedside," said Carl Mustad, assistant director of information technology at the Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust. "The drive to improve efficiency at Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust is all about making information available at the right time to the right person, improving patient care and providing safer processes."

The hospital expects to extend the use of this wireless infrastructure to help utilise medical equipment more efficiently. Using Cisco's wireless location technology to track and monitor devices, such as ECG machines and infusion pumps, means they can be shared between wards more effectively with devices more easily located.

The Cisco wireless LAN solution at the Princess of Wales Hospital is part of a wider information management and technology improvement strategy by the Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust. This comprises Cisco fixed and wireless networking solutions at 80 hospital, community clinic and general practitioner locations to help make healthcare systems and information more readily available to clinicians. The Cisco infrastructure will also provide a platform for the Trust to deploy additional services such as voice over IP to replace hospital paging systems, and radio frequency identification (RFID) to improve bed availability management and offer better protection for vulnerable patients.

The Cisco wireless LAN at the Princess of Wales Hospital comprises the Cisco Aironet® 1130 and 1240 AG Series Access Points, Cisco 4400 Series Wireless LAN Controllers and the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance. The existing Cisco LANs and a wide-area network (WAN) use Cisco Catalyst® 6500, 3750 and 3550 Series Switches. Network security uses the Cisco Secure Access Control Server Solution Engine and the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Intrusion Detection System (IDSM-2) Module. The Cisco wireless solution at the Princess of Wales Hospital has been implemented by Stoneleigh Consultancy, a Cisco Premier Certified Partner.

"Taking advantage of network technology helps healthcare providers of all sizes to improve collaboration and decision making among caregivers and experts, leading to benefits such as cost-effective quality care, easier access to patient information, more productive workflows, fewer medical errors and redundancies, and faster diagnosis and treatment," said Terry Espiner, Cisco's regional sales manager for healthcare. "The use of Cisco wireless networking at the Princess of Wales hospital will help ensure that doctors and nurses have the right information at the right time to give patients better and faster healthcare."

About Princess of Wales Hospital and Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust

The Princess of Wales Hospital is a district general hospital within the Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust in South Wales which provides acute health services to the local population of approximately 160,000 people. The Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust is responsible for managing a comprehensive range of integrated hospital and community services for a resident population of approximately 300,000, in the County Boroughs of Neath, Port Talbot, Bridgend and the western part of the Vale of Glamorgan. Some specialties provide services beyond the local catchment area; Forensic Mental Health covers the whole of South Wales and Learning Disability Services covers an area stretching from Swansea to Cardiff.

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