Mackay Memorial Hospital leverages collaboration to transform the user experience
About Mackay Memorial Hospital
The Mackay Memorial Hospital is one of the largest medical insitutions in Taiwan with a rich legacy. The hospital was started in 1912 in Taipei, with the objective of serving the minorities and the needy, as well as setting a benchmark in service quality and training of medical students. It also aims to become a renowned institution in biological science research and be among the top six medical institutions in contributions to medicial literature in the country.
Mackay Memorial Hospital, together with three other branch hospitals, has a staff size of 7,300 employees. Amongst some of the milestones achieved in recent years were the building of the first and largest outdoor medical aid station in Taiwan for infectious disease prevention and control of the H5N1 flu virus, the first hospital in Taiwan to provide hospice care and the first to set up a neonatal intensive care unit. In 2009, the Mackay Medical College was accredited as Taiwan’s 12th medical school by the Ministry of Education.
For a number of years, patients were communicating with nurses through a red call button located near the patient’s bed. However, with the number of staff and patients growing each year, the nurses were unable to respond to patient calls promptly or prioritise care for individual patients.
The medical staff also did not have access to real-time information, such as admission and discharge, room availability and related patient data. Without efficient communications tools, productivity slowed as doctors and nurses took a longer time to do handovers during shift changes.
Mackay Memorial Hospital had several goals: it wanted better collaboration and communication among doctors, medical personnel and nursing station service; improved productivity of the workforce by reducing the workflow and workload of nurses and doctors; and enhanced operational process so that the hospital can offer better, faster and more efficient patient care.
The hospital believed that technology could provide a transformative impact to the staff and patient experience. It also felt that an upgrade of the IT infrastructure was necessary to offer value-added services that could help ease the tension and anxieties of patients during their stay. Enabling faster access to patient care could lead to a ‘friendlier environment’, and speed up the patients’ recovery.
The IT department and senior managers at the hospital consulted with the medical personnel and looked at three different solution providers before shortlisting two. After a review, Logicalis was selected as the systems integration partner to develop a Cisco-based Unified Communications (UC) solution that comprised an intelligent patient infotainment system and intelligent e-whiteboards.
“Logicalis has a long-term relationship with Mackay Memorial Hospital, going back more than 20 years ago. We have great trust with Logicalis as they have worked on many projects, including building and managing our wireless and network infrastructure.
“Logicalis also has the technology and innovation expertise and has always been fast and responsive. Logicalis understands our IT needs well and in fact, were the ones who presented to us the benefits of moving to an intelligent system,” said a Mackay Memorial Hospital spokesperson.
The UC infrastructure includes network equipment (switches, UCS servers and routers), nurse notification system (wireless IP Phones, IP Phones, IP PBX), patient infotainment system and intelligent e-whiteboards.
The patient infotainment system has an 18.5” touch-panel screen located next to each patient’s bed. The system runs on Microsoft Windows and is equipped with a web camera, RFID capability, a smart IC card reader and an optional in-built VOIP handset that is connected to the hospital’s information system (HIS system). Attached to the screen is a large metal arm (Flytech K948 C73 with Arcos 2000 arm and Arcos 8000), designed for robustness and patient safety. The screen also offers seven touch functions: one-touch nurse notification system, intravenous injection notification system, patient-care instruction capability, meal ordering, TV, Internet and online radio.
The red call button near the patient’s bed was retained, and is now connected seamlessly to the UC network. Patients now have the option of using the one-touch nurse notification system, the traditional notification button or the Cisco phone (6941) to alert the nurses. Notifications are linked to a Cisco wireless phone (Cisco 7925) carried by the nurses. Nurses could also use the wireless phone to call each other or to communicate with the nurse station, which is installed with the Cisco IP phone 7965G.
In situations where the nurse is unable to attend to the patient, a notification would automatically be sent to the second nurse via the terminal system. In the event that the second nurse cannot respond to the task, she could also notify the nursing station via the wireless phone and send an emergency notification to request for urgent support.
Two all-in-one 42” electric capacity LED-touch intelligent e-whiteboards, installed with Microsoft Windows and connected to the same HIS system, serves as a systematic and integrated medical information platform for medical personnel. The intelligent e-whiteboard displays different types of real-time information, ranging from bed occupancy rate (BOR) information, medical records status (to facilitate efficient patient care and patient-care duty roster), medical surgery and examination status, hospital admission and discharge records, nurses’ timeframe arrangements, and medical care status that indicates which doctors are in charge.
The intelligent e-whiteboards are placed in two areas: - in the public space near the nursing station to allow the nurse on-duty at the station, to view the patients’ information without violating the privacy of patients; and in the nurses’ meeting room, which offers more detailed patient information to facilitate their work duty-roster. The whiteboard is aesthetically pleasing compared to the traditional whiteboard and offers accurate and real-time information, enabling medical staff to reduce the duplication of repetitive tasks.
Procurement for the UC solution started in February 2014, followed by the deployment in August for the 12th and 13th floors of the children’s hospital. After the successful deployment, the solution was expanded to the 11th floor of the children cancer and special disease patient room and the first floor of the cancer health-care and treatment centre. The deployment for all the designated floors was completed in November 2015.
Mackay Memorial Hospital is currently the only hospital in Taipei to have installed the UC and patient infotainment system across all non-VIP and non-category patient wards. In keeping with the vision of being the ‘most reputable medical centre with regards to service quality’, the hospital ensures that all patients are able to access the system at no additional costs. Children staying at the hospital do not have to pay more for using the patient terminal system.
Nurses, doctors, patients, as well as the IT department, all benefit from the UC system.
The new UC system has been able to cut down the workloads for nurses as information on the services provided by the hospital is now integrated into the patient terminal system. Nurses are able to answer patients’ calls promptly via a wireless phone and available nurses could be assigned to patients who require immediate support. Waiting time for the patients has decreased substantially. For example, the waiting time for a patient to contact any given nurse on-duty is now reduced from 73 seconds to 18 seconds. The average time for pharmacists to locate the nurses for a medication problem has also been reduced from 64 minutes to 13 minutes.
The infotainment system is useful in enabling patients to interact more closely with the hospital staff. Patients are now more informed of their own care and can notify the nurse station whenever they require urgent attention and get an immediate response.
The touch screen on the infotainment system enables patients to tap on a number of features such as listening to the radio, using the Internet, ordering meals or viewing medical information etc. – all of which serve to ease the anxieties of patients and their families during their stay in the hospital. The entertainment features provided on the infotainment system also help to improve the in-patient experience and patient satisfaction.
The intelligent e-whiteboards also make it easier for nurses and doctors to keep track of the patients’ status, staff assignments and duty roster. This not only improves the productivity of the hospital staff but also enhances the patients’ satisfaction during their stay in the hospital.
Previously, the IT department only received information from individual terminals. Now, information is integrated into the entire system and can be viewed in real time. The IT department is now more productive as staff no longer has to spend time searching and trouble-shooting on each workstation.
Mackay Memorial Hospital plans to install the patient terminal systems across more floors and at all of its four branches in the next phase. The schedule for full deployment will be dependent on ongoing renovations on all the floors as well as budgetary approvals.
Each time the renovation is completed on one floor, the hospital will then install the bed, medical treatment equipment and the patient infotainment system. The children’s hospital was the first to be renovated and also the first to be equipped with the new patient infotainment system.
Going forward, the hospital intends to enlist the help of Logicalis to develop and upgrade its IT network and deploy web and video conferencing solutions, to better facilitate communications and increase work productivity with other hospital branches in Taiwan.