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Ackermann: Medical Center with Networked Care Communication Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 March 2012 00:00

The University Medical Center in Greifswald, Germany (a public body) is a maximum care hospital with 21 clinics and polyclinics, 19 institutes and other central facilities. It is currently undergoing major renovation and extension. Developments are to include a new diagnosis center. The current capacity of 880 beds enables over 145,000 patients a year to be treated. To allow patients to benefit from cutting edge standards, Greifswald’s specialist departments and medical researchers work closely together. Therefore care communication solutions which fulfill the highest requirements are also used. Ackermann has always been the systems provider of choice at the university medical center. This cooperation is continuing during the current construction and renovation work. One of the key objectives of this project is to integrate all the existing stand-alone nurse call system solutions into a comprehensive communication platform. The nurse call systems in the new buildings and other technical systems are to use this common infrastructure.

Seamless Migration with the New Group Zone Controller

In order to provide intelligent networking of the existing Clino Phon 95 and Clino Phon 99 nurse call systems (the oldest systems date back to 1992), a total of 35 TCP/IP-capable GZ 99 IP zone controllers were installed. This enabled two key requirements to be fulfilled at minimum cost: The continued use of the existing nurse call systems and networking using standardized infrastructures. For this purpose, an individual, specially configured VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) was set up to transmit the nurse call data. Safe operation is ensured by dedicated network components with a separate uninterruptible power supply (UPS). In addition, exclusive IP address ranges were defined for the nurse call system and the switches connected in such a way that reliable forwarding and/or escalation of the calls is ensured. As the GZ 99 IP is compatible with all other Ackermann systems installed, the existing nurse call systems could be integrated into the common network without causing major disruption to normal operation.

Centralized Logging and Controlling of All Systems

The IP network offers a number of technical advantages: All of the installed systems can be monitored and controlled using a central server. This reduces the cost of servicing and maintaining the facilities. In addition, the entire system can now be conveniently controlled via a graphical user interface. The engineers can thus monitor all of the systems in real time, identify faults quickly and even repair them using remote maintenance. Further synergies are generated at Greifswald partly by the fact that the fire detection system by ESSER has been incorporated into the nurse call system. This facilitates a central alarm and hazard management system and increases security for patients and staff on the entire campus.

Actual added value, now and in the future

The new comprehensive system also supports the care staff. All nurse call systems, both existing and newly installed, can be used in the usual way. In addition, calls and messages can be addressed in a more targeted manner, preventing sensory overload caused by irrelevant messages. The intelligent system concept not only supports the implementation of added-value services such as multimedia, IP TV and Internet, but also process-orientated functions directly at the point of care. Multifunctional terminal devices can, for example, record nursing data and inform patients or enable access to a patient's complete medical record. []

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 March 2012 16:58

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