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Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust undertakes wireless network transformation with Alcatel-Lucent to deliver dynamic patient services


Paris – Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) today announced that Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust, the internationally-renowned heart and lung centre, has deployed an Alcatel-Lucent Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) to form the core component of its IT strategy, which aims to transform clinical care and enable total mobility of its patient services.

Alcatel-Lucent’s wireless network, which was installed by networking and security integrator Khipu Networks, gives Trust employees the ability to perform clinical procedures and access patient information anywhere in the hospital, as well as supporting the organisation’s goal of providing ‘paper-light’ electronic access to all clinical, managerial and administrative records by 2010/2011.

Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust, which comprises two hospitals 20 miles apart at Chelsea and Uxbridge, London, will utilise the wireless network to deliver sensitive data that requires resilience, security and speed – such as x-ray images, patient monitoring information, pathology results and cardiovascular imaging. It allows the staff, equipped with Tablet PCs such as Mobile Clinical Assistants (MCAs), to record medical information direct from patients’ wristbands or at their bedsides, and transmit it into a central database, crucial in ensuring fast and accurate patient identification and diagnosis.

“Hospitals operate in a totally mobile way. Clinicians, nurses and patients are continually on the move, and in order to deliver effective care, staff must be granted universal access to patient data,” said Graham Everson, director of IT and telecommunications at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust. “Wireless technology perfectly supports the core clinical functions of a hospital, and thus forms the bedrock of our IT strategy. Most importantly, it is an enabler – on top of it, you can build layers of device and functionality to make day to day operations more dynamic and flexible, reducing patient risk in the process.”

Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust serves more than 80,000 outpatients and 26,000 inpatients each year from the UK and overseas, and employs more than 2,500 staff. The wireless network, which is based on Alcatel-Lucent’s OmniAccess WLAN technology, will complement and support the Trust’s existing Alcatel-Lucent fixed data infrastructure. In the initial rollout, 300 clinicians and consultants will gain access to the wireless facilities, while the network will facilitate more users following site acceptance tests, designed to gauge performance and compile employee feedback.

“Within a hospital, IT must be completely invisible from an infrastructure support perspective. It must operate smoothly 24 hours a day, and should seek to improve the way we deliver high quality patient care,” continued Everson. “However, at the same time the applications themselves must be visible and readily available, encouraging uptake and allowing us to transfer more tasks to handheld devices. The new wireless network lays the foundation for us to increase mobility and removing paper-based processes in this way, while ensuring we remain fully compliant with Department of Health security standards.”

Royal Brompton & Harefield has future plans to link the telecommunications at both sites using voice over IP (VoIP) to remove the cost of internal calls, as well as giving staff GSM devices with wireless capabilities, enabling them to automatically switch over to the Wi-Fi network whenever they’re onsite, achieving further flexibility and cost-savings.

The Trust is also examining the deployment of ‘hands free’, location monitoring and communication technology. Vocera technology can be seen as a powerful replacement for traditional hospital ‘bleep’ systems, as it provides devices that do not need their own independent ‘network’, but instead work via the hospital’s WLAN. This allows for two-way voice communication using voice recognition to locate the ‘target audience’ – individual or group – within the hospital. The system has direct operational benefits to clinical and nursing staff, security staff and portering staff, and can be used to improve workflow efficiency of the Trust employees across each of the sites at the hospital.

“Wireless networks are becoming the foundation for delivering clinical and non-clinical applications within healthcare organisations, and provide a number of key benefits – from flexible secure access for staff to tracking vital assets – whilst playing a significant role in delivering IT resilience within a hospital,” said Matt Ashman, commercial consultant at Khipu Networks.

Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust selected the Alcatel-Lucent and Khipu offering based the high level of knowledge, support and responsiveness they provided, and both organisations are now providing ongoing network support, as well as conducting site acceptance tests, which will help the organisations make further improvements to the network.

“Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust is a dynamic organisation in which excellence in clinical innovation is matched equally by technical innovation. It puts patient care at the heart of new communications projects, understands the importance of connected knowledge and ensures deployments are sufficiently robust to prevent care from being compromised by technical issues,” said Simon Price, account manager, Alcatel-Lucent enterprise activities for UK & Ireland.

About Royal Brompton & Harefield Trust
Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust is the largest specialist heart and lung centre in the UK and among the largest in Europe. The Trust is based on two sites in Chelsea, London and Harefield, Middlesex. The Trust has a 160-year history of expertise in the diagnosis, treatment and long-term care of heart and lung disease.

About Khipu
Khipu Networks is a UK-based advanced systems integrator, focusing on supplying innovative secure compliant infrastructure solutions across the public and private sector. The company is a leading adopter of new and best-in-breed technology – expert technical staff ensure that customers get the solutions they need, when they want them and how they need them. The ethos is to ensure that the customer has the edge on the security and compliance of their network and not the attacker. Hampshire based Khipu Networks Ltd is the security division of the White Clarke Group of companies. Khipu Networks is an Alcatel-Lucent Direct Partner (specialists in wireless) and the exclusive reseller of Bradford Campus Manager in the UK and Ireland. Khipu was awarded Alcatel-Lucent Data Partner of the Year 2007.

About Alcatel-Lucent
Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) provides solutions that enable service providers, enterprise and governments worldwide, to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end-users. As a leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP technologies, applications and services, Alcatel-Lucent offers the end-to-end solutions that enable compelling communications services for people at home, at work and on the move. With operations in more than 130 countries, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with global reach. The company has the most experienced global services team in the industry, and one of the largest research, technology and innovation organizations in the telecommunications industry. Alcatel-Lucent achieved revenues of Euro 17.8 billion in 2007 and is incorporated in France, with executive offices located in Paris. For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on the Internet:


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