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WellStar Health System Selects Avantas for Healthcare Enterprise Labor Management Solution

Five-Hospital System and Associated Medical Group to Deploy Avantas’ Consulting Services and Technology to Transform Labor Management Practices, Optimize Operating Budgets

OMAHA, Neb. – June 17, 2013 – Avantas, a leading provider of strategic labor management technology, services and strategies for the healthcare industry, today announced that WellStar Health System (WellStar), has selected its consulting services and patented labor management software, Smart Square®, in an effort to improve labor performance for the entire WellStar system, starting with its 124 nursing units.

Under the terms of this agreement, WellStar will adopt Avantas’ proven HELM™ (healthcare enterprise labor management) methodology, allowing the organization to integrate labor resources across its five hospitals and medical group, which is made up of more than 500 primary care providers, specialists, and advanced practitioners. WellStar will also implement Avantas’ Smart Square technology, the healthcare industry’s only comprehensive labor management solution developed by healthcare professionals for healthcare professionals. This technology will provide a transparent view of staffing, scheduling, and productivity at the enterprise level. Smart Square is planned to go live in July 2013.

WellStar will implement Avantas’ business intelligence tools and Smart Square dashboards across its five acute care hospitals and more than 100 medical group practice locations, providing in-depth analysis of the entire system’s labor workforce and operational practices. This includes identifying utilization trends, designing strategies based on demand information, outlining the workforce demographic, identifying trends in staff dissatisfiers, and quantifying high-margin opportunities.

“We will be working with WellStar over the next 18 months to optimize the impact of our work strategies and software across 124 nursing departments, which will allow for a single, enterprise-wide view of labor resources,” said Chris Fox, CEO, Avantas. “WellStar is a leading healthcare organization and its selection of Avantas after visiting one of our client sites is a real testament to the capabilities of both our HELM methodology and our labor management IT solution, which truly transforms the labor management process.”

HELM represents a disruptive innovation for the healthcare industry, challenging organizations to rethink what is possible with regard to labor management in all departments. The approach is comprehensive and sophisticated – combining the science of workforce planning, demand forecasting, operational best practices, and a complete set of scheduling and staffing tools. Avantas has leveraged unique client experiences across provider organizations of all sizes to detail effective methodologies that help organizations rise above departmental silos and implement a consistent and effective way to integrate labor across the enterprise.

To learn more about Avantas’ HELM-based consulting services and view a demonstration of its industry-leading patented labor management solution, please visit booth #600 at the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) 2013 National Institute at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL from June 16 – 19, 2013.

About WellStar Health System
Recognized as the fifth most integrated healthcare delivery system in the country, WellStar Health System is the largest not-for-profit health system in Georgia and serves a population of nearly 1.3 million residents in five counties. The vision of WellStar is to deliver world-class healthcare.  A national leader in the transformation of healthcare delivery, WellStar launched two initiatives in late 2012 – the Center for Health Transformation and the Georgia Health Collaborative – that will have far reaching effects on healthcare both locally and nationally.  WellStar includes WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center (anchored by WellStar Kennestone Hospital) and WellStar Cobb, Douglas, Paulding and Windy Hill hospitals; the WellStar Medical Group; Urgent Care Centers; Acworth Health Park; Health Place; Homecare; Hospice; Atherton Place; Paulding Nursing Center; and the WellStar Foundation. For more information, call 770-956-STAR or visit wellstar.org.

About Avantas
Developers of the HELMTM methodology (healthcare enterprise labor management), Avantas is devoted to serving the healthcare industry. Its proprietary approach to managing labor consists of consulting services and a scheduling and productivity solution, Smart Square. This comprehensive approach provides its clients with tailored best practice labor management strategies designed to drive substantial and sustaining cost and quality improvements across the enterprise through automation. For more information, please visit the Avantas website at www.Avantas.com.

June 18, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

WellStar Health System Selects Merge Healthcare for Enterprise-Wide Cardiology Image Management

Merge Cardio is an enterprise-level image and information system that integrates patient information from different sources into a centralized web-based system so cardiologists can quickly access their patient’s complete cardiology file, generate a report and distribute it in a single session, from anywhere.

Merge Cardio integrates with the industry’s leading health information systems and electronic health records systems for interoperable image exchange, a key component of an overall strategy to provide secure and timely access to patient information regardless of location and affiliation.

Scalable Image Management Solution Addresses Future Growth Needs; Reduces Patient Care Costs

CHICAGO, Feb. 8, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Merge Healthcare (Nasdaq:MRGE), a leading provider of enterprise imaging and interoperability solutions, today announced that WellStar Health System, a 1,300+ bed healthcare system in Atlanta, will implement the Merge Cardio solution across its five hospitals and eight outpatient locations to create an integrated and scalable enterprise-wide imaging platform.

“As imaging volume grows across a large multi-location enterprise like WellStar, it’s increasingly important to have a cardiology image management system that includes a high-availability archive solution that replicates at the application level between two separate data centers,” said Jeff Surges, CEO, Merge Healthcare. “Without it, you risk major system failure and costly enterprise-level management. The Merge Cardio solution is a vendor neutral, standards-based image management solution that allows WellStar to select any cardiovascular image modality brand without the concern of compatibility issues.”

Merge Cardio is an enterprise-level image and information system that integrates patient information from different sources into a centralized web-based system so cardiologists can quickly access their patient’s complete cardiology file, generate a report and distribute it in a single session, from anywhere.

Merge Cardio integrates with the industry’s leading health information systems and electronic health records systems for interoperable image exchange, a key component of an overall strategy to provide secure and timely access to patient information regardless of location and affiliation.

Additionally, because Merge Cardio is a robust imaging and diagnostic workstation that supports all modalities, it enables improved workflow so that cardiologists can focus on patient care, procedures and exams, and the cardiology department can operate more efficiently and cost effectively.

About Merge Healthcare

Merge Healthcare is a leading provider of enterprise imaging and interoperability solutions, with a client base consisting of more than 1,500 hospitals and 6,000 clinics across the country. Merge solutions facilitate the sharing of images to create a more effective and efficient electronic healthcare experience for patients and physicians. Merge provides enterprise imaging solutions for radiology, cardiology, orthopaedics and eye care; a suite of products for clinical trials; software for financial and pre-surgical management, and applications that fuel the largest modality vendors in the world. Merge’s products have been used by healthcare providers, vendors and researchers worldwide to improve patient care for more than 20 years. Additional information can be found at www.merge.com.

The Merge Healthcare logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=10757

About WellStar

WellStar Health System is a not-for-profit system recognized as a national leader in comprehensive care. Staying ahead of the curve in technology has enabled WellStar to be leaders in both the diagnosis and treatment of an extensive array of health conditions. Serving a population of more than one million residents of NW metropolitan Atlanta, WellStar consistently looks at total patient wellness and works to ensure that all systems support that focus. With industry awards ranging from Integrated Delivery Networks to Working Mother Magazine’s Best Places to Work, WellStar strives to provide the best care possible with Atlanta’s top medical professionals. Specialists and primary care providers work in a multi-disciplinary environment with more than 12,000 diverse team members throughout our five hospitals and physician offices. By working through a patient-centered model of care, WellStar places enormous value on quality and safety with many accolades to support our work.

February 11, 2012 I Written By

Avaya Introduces Collaboration Solutions to Help Healthcare Providers Enhance Patient Care

Avaya’s healthcare services business is launching at HIMSS 11 a mobile device checkout system for hospitals and an automated patient follow-up service that can be customized to an array of acute conditions.

Avaya at HIMSS 2011: Business Communications Leader Demonstrates New Mobility and Automated Outreach Offerings For Improving Healthcare Processes

HIMSS Conference and Exhibition, Orlando, Fla., – Avaya, Inc., a global leader in business collaboration systems, software and services, today announced new and enhanced communications solutions to help healthcare providers improve workplace collaboration and patient care. The solutions–to be demonstrated at the 2011 Annual HIMSS Conference and Exhibition–use mobility, automated outreach and other technologies to enhance care coordination, pre-admissions preparedness, and post-discharge care.

“Healthcare professionals need to be instantly reachable and quick to respond in order to deliver the most effective care,” said Sanjeev Gupta, general manager of Avaya’s Healthcare Solutions group. “Avaya’s solutions help speed up hospital clinical processes, and remove the barriers that can frustrate healthcare professionals. Our solutions – and the tools we are introducing today – are designed to drive streamlined communications within an industry where every second counts.”

Innovative technologies will continue to play a central role in healthcare in 2011. Gartner estimates that “in 2011 healthcare providers worldwide will spend $87.7 billion on IT, including hardware, software, IT services, and telecommunications.”[1]

Avaya will showcase its solutions in booth #2718 at the 2011 HIMSS Conference and Exhibition. This includes the new offerings:

  • Avaya Mobile Device Checkout 3.0: This frees hospital staff from the nurse’s station by enabling communications from anywhere on hospital grounds using a personalized Wireless LAN device. With this solution, a hospital worker registers a shared or personal mobile device at the start of his shift by swiping the barcodes on their mobile device and ID badge. This assigns a personal phone number to the device, eliminating complex login procedures or the need for staff members to get a new contact number each time they come to work.  This addresses the key issue of availability, since, according to a recent Spyglass Consulting Group report, 69 percent of hospital-based physicians and 87 percent of private practice physicians indicate their biggest communications challenge is connecting with colleagues in a timely manner. Mobile Device Checkout also allows simultaneous log in to clinical applications, such as asset management.
    Today’s update builds on the prior release by expanding support beyond  hospital WLAN devices to now integrate with other smart phones and wireless tablets, including iPhones, Blackberrys and iPads. Enhanced reporting also provides expanded device management capabilities within the hospital.  General availability is March 2011.
  • Avaya Patient Follow-up: This enables hospitals to use automated outreach to call and follow up with patients after their discharge from a hospital. It uses voice automation to ask customized questions based on a patient’s medical records and their reason for hospitalization.  Designed to reduce the number of patients re-admitted, this solution also reduces the dependency on using staff for repetitive follow-up activities.  The system can be tailored to acute conditions, and helps in chronic disease management by ensuring patients follow proper care at home. It is generally available summer 2011.

Other solutions to be demonstrated at HIMSS include Avaya Patient Appointment Reminder, which drives outbound calls to remind and confirm patients for pending appointments using speech automation or prompts, and Avaya Patient Admit Coordinator, which uses multi-modal communications to accelerate and coordinate hospital admittance for patients recently treated in the emergency room.  Avaya also will spotlight the groundbreaking Avaya FlareÔ Experience solution, and demonstrate how it simplifies multi-modal collaboration to help clinicians focus on patient care.

Leading Hospitals Use Avaya Solutions to Improve Collaboration

Avaya serves a wide range of healthcare organizations, including Halton Healthcare, a multi-site healthcare organization based in Ontario, Canada, Rochester General Hospital, the flagship care facility for the Rochester General Health System (RGHS) of N.Y., and WellStar Health System, a Marietta, GA-based not-for-profit health system serving 1.3 million area residents.

Halton Healthcare deployed Avaya Mobile Device Checkout to address the communications challenges facing their emergency department. Previously, contacting a physician or nurse could be cumbersome, and in many cases they would need to rely on hospital-wide overhead paging. Avaya’s solutions enable Halton Healthcare’s staff to use their mobile devices to directly and instantly reach a co-worker’s extension. In an environment where seconds save lives, this decreases the time to reach staff, and reduces the excess noise of hospital-wide overhead paging.

“Avaya Mobile Device Checkout is the best solution the department has implemented in 20 years,” said Dr. Richard Casey of Halton Healthcare. “We have our professionals getting connected in real-time, which is a great advancement in our communications, as well as patient flow and safety.”

Rochester General Hospital also uses Avaya Mobile Device Checkout as the backbone of its emergency department communications. The hospital’s employees–including physicians, transporters, reparatory therapists, radiologists and nurses–no longer have to wait to use wall phones to reach colleagues in emergency situations. They now have an assigned mobile device that they check out by scanning their ID, and then carry with them at all times. Approximately 50 mobile devices are in use by employees, each reachable by a role-based extension number.

“We now communicate quickly and on the fly,” said George Glessner, process coordinator, emergency department, Rochester General Hosptial. “Steps are eliminated for most everything, whether one needs to obtain lab test results or transport patients to radiology. With Avaya Mobile Device Checkout, the staff is now reachable from anywhere in and just outside the hospital, including the emergency department parking lot and helipad, thus enabling us to easily make arrangements for patients in critical condition as they arrive.”

WellStar Health System turned to Avaya for a comprehensive communications platform powered by Avaya Aura™ to tap the full potential of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). SIP enables WellStar to experience new cost savings, and soon implement real-time collaboration for staff using voice, video and data communications. WellStar’s SIP foundation also brings the benefit of increased continuity by supporting three real-time registrations. This enables phone service and operations to continue in the event that one or even two of the registration offices go down.

“From a redundancy standpoint, having continuous communications is significant for us,” said Debra Naderhoff, executive director, telecommunications for WellStar, “because it means that our phone service won’t fail us, and in life and death situations, this is critical. With Avaya, we are well-covered for business continuity.”

[1] Gartner, Market Insight: Healthcare Provider Industry Primer, 2010. Nov. 18, 2010

About Avaya
Avaya is a global leader in enterprise communications systems.  The company provides unified communications, contact centers, data solutions and related services directly and through its channel partners to leading businesses and organizations around the world. Enterprises of all sizes depend on Avaya for state-of-the-art communications that improve efficiency, collaboration, customer service and competitiveness. For more information, please visit www.avaya.com.

February 21, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.