Telehealth Collaboration Solution Improves Access to Care for Special Kids

Industry: Healthcare

Practice Area: Collaboration

As one of the largest pediatric rehabilitation hospitals in the country, this healthcare organization treats children affected by brain injury, spinal cord injury, premature birth, autism, developmental delays, and life-changing illnesses at thirteen sites throughout New Jersey. Services include outpatient therapies, physician specialty services, acute rehabilitation, medical day care and long-term care.

Desired outcomes

With doctors and locations spread across New Jersey, the client wanted to make it easier for families to get access to pediatric specialists to provide the expert care needed to help children facing special health challenges. They engaged Aspire and Cisco to explore how video conferencing and collaboration technologies could allow specialists across their facilities to more efficiently treat patients. The team also considered what impact reducing travel times and minimizing disruptions might mean to families seeking essential care for children experiencing complex physical disabilities and chronic illnesses.

A Collaborative Solution

Working closely with the hospital’s IT team, Aspire helped establish a vision and architecture strategy for leveraging a Cisco collaboration solution as a part of a broader telehealth initiative. It started with defining the goals of the organization. From there, Aspire designed a Unified Communications platform to support call control and voicemail, Instant Messaging and Presence, and multiparty video conferencing capabilities. At the core was an advanced gateway architecture designed to provide secure rich media collaboration outside the firewall with H.323/SIP interoperability, remote/mobile support, and b2b and b2c video conferencing. The initial proof of concept for the telehealth video conferencing initiative connected their Mountainside and Toms River, NJ outpatient centers, located sixty miles apart.

Results

Today, the solution allows physicians to interact with their patients without them having to make the one-hour drive to the hospital. The Cisco architecture provides a foundation to easily expand the capabilities to reach other sites. Video endpoints and IP phones now register to the same centralized platform, reducing the IT support and administrative overhead associated with managing the solution. This technology has endless opportunities to help children with special needs and complex medical conditions. The hospital hopes to expand its reach of this technology to improve patient services, avoid hospital readmissions, and provide greater access to specialists.

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