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Published by on Friday, April 17, 2009 at 11:27:00 AM

Why VoIP becoming Telephone Choice For Hospitals in UK

by: Sarah Maple : For those of us who are not all too familiar with internet telephony and packet-switched networks, VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is essentially voice communication, but using an internet network. This method of communication for business has a number of benefits: costs can be reduced by using your existing intranet or internet network, and the systems are inherently flexible with means for videoconferencing and network expansion being a relatively simple process. These are no doubt the preliminary factors that attract hospital planners to VoIP for their communication needs today.

One specific area that VoIP has proven to be suitable for UK hospitals is by being successfully integrated at the pace required by its users. Derriford Hospital, in Plymouth South Devon, began its upgrade to a computer telephony system in 2004 and plans to have installed 6000 IP phones over 8 sites (including the biggest hospital in the South West, as well as other smaller surgeries) by 2014. The main challenge was to keep the existing system working whilst installing the new flexible infrastructure. Now, doctors and nurses across 60 percent of the sites can keep in contact. Once the system is 100 percent integrated, the next upgrade will include wireless telephones handsets that will also offer SMS-style communication from patients to staff.

The Royal Manchester Children's Hospital has also improved its in house communication system via a Siemens telephony platform. The hospital serves children in Manchester, Salford, and elsewhere in the region over a number of sites, and due to some relocation set for 2009, has needed to adopt a more up date system than already exists. During a time when simple operations might have been hindered considerably by relocation work etc, the efficiency of the new system was realized by an improved PC-based switchboard which was quicker, and easier to use and modify then the previous system. The nature of the new telephony platform means that it will also be easier to maintain over the next few years.

Perhaps the biggest move came when the East Sussex Hospitals Trust (including Eastbourne Hospital, Bexhill Hospital, and Conquest Hospital) merged together recently. The aim of the new trust was to establish a centralised operator that would manage calls and voicemail for all the sites, additionally, the new integrated IP telephony system also includes a direct maintenance link with a team who are alerted automatically by the system should a fault occur. This not only offers the entire trust a comprehensive communication network, but one that patients and staff can also have more confident in.

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Published by IzajAhmed Shaikh.
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I am, Mr. IzajAhmed Shaikh, a Computer Professional and a Pro. Blogger, who belongs to Shahabad, Karnataka India. My basic Qualifications are B.Sc., and M.C.M. done from University of Pune., formerly known as, Poona University,. I like to write articles based on my personal experiences.