Nottingham NHS Trust to improve access to healthcare information


Nottingham NHS Trust to improve access to healthcare information

Warwick Ashford

The Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust is deploying one of the UK's most advanced networks to improve access to healthcare information and speed up service delivery.

The Trust, the fourth largest in the UK, has signed a multi-million pound agreement with Cisco to implement a single information and communications infrastructure, starting this month and scheduled for completion by March 2010.

The network will include foundational networking technologies and security appliances to deliver secure and fast fixed and wireless networking and will be managed using Cisco unified communications software and collaboration tools.

The centralised WiFi network will be used to provide real-time wireless accesses to information at the bedside and ensure medical staff can be contacted anywhere in the hospital.

The implementation will also include radio frequency identification (RFID) systems to monitor and locate expensive equipment.

Ian Smith, head of service design and innovation for the Trust, said the Cisco network would enable the Trust to exploit the capability of new technologies to improve patient care, reduce waiting times, and eliminate duplication of information.

"We are planning an infrastructure platform where clinicians can access, share and collaborate on healthcare information faster and more efficiently," he said.

Andrew Fearn, director of health informatics at the Trust, said, "The network will offer huge benefits to the 'releasing time to care' programme by enabling our clinical staff to spend more time caring for patients and ensuring that the most current information is always available at the point of care."

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