NEW ORLEANS ? 02/26/2007 In response to evolving healthcare industry requirements, Sprint (NYSE:S) is working with key partners like Vocera Communications and Nuance Communications (NASDAQ: NAUN) to offer speech-enabled mobile solutions that help hospitals, clinics and other service organizations streamline operations, accelerate access to information, reduce costs and improve patient care.
Today, Sprint provides an array of cost-effective mobile solutions that help healthcare providers balance patient care, operational efficiency, cost management and regulatory compliance. Information that was previously available only within the walls of hospitals can now be viewed remotely, in real-time on Sprint smartphones, saving critical minutes in life-threatening situations and enabling caregivers to function more effectively and efficiently.
A new example of enabling instant communication for healthcare workers is today's announcement by Sprint and Vocera® Communications to work together to extend Vocera's unique communications system to Wide Area Networks (WAN) by offering key Vocera functions on Sprint and Nextel handsets operating on both the Nationwide Sprint PCS Network and the Nextel National Network, an industry first. With this new solution, mobile workers, including physicians, nurses and the hospital staff, will now be able to communicate instantly with each other beyond the four walls of a hospital building, thus extending the workplace. Specifically this solution will allow a physician or attending nurse outside the hospital to communicate at all times with his or her staff wearing Vocera badges by using the walkie-talkie feature on their Sprint and Nextel handsets. The ability to communicate instantly with critical resources without being physically present in the hospital is crucial to making timely decisions that can save lives, especially during an emergency.
"Working with industry leaders like Sprint enables us to provide innovative solutions to help advance and streamline hospital communication, which can help expedite patient care," said Brent Lang, executive vice president for Vocera Communications. "Extending Vocera's reach to the WAN through integration with Sprint enables greater flexibility and connectivity among hospital staff, allowing them to concentrate on providing high-quality patient care at the point-of-care."
"We are enthusiastic about participating in a pilot of Sprint and Vocera merged capabilities and functionality," said Patricia Skarulis, CIO and Vice President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering. "We look forward to the melding of Sprint walkie-talkie and wireless services with Vocera's hands-free voice recognition applications. Memorial Sloan-Kettering expects that this merged technology will allow internal clinical staff and critical clinical systems, through text alert forwarding, to reach doctors, nurses or other specialists anywhere in our ever-expanding network of clinical sites and metropolitan area locations. We also look forward to the integration of Sprint wireless devices with existing Vocera devices which will allow for greater texting and voice options both within and beyond the walls of the hospital. "
Today, obtaining patient information is primarily a manual process ? a physician first locates a computer terminal in the hospital or clinic, looks up the results, writes down the information, visits the patient and orders the appropriate care services, and then returns to the computer to update the patient record. To streamline this process, Sprint is working with Nuance Communications to introduce a custom speech-enabled healthcare voice technology that gives healthcare professionals wireless voice access to critical data including medical records. This new speech-enabled technology, an industry first, simplifies the workflow process by allowing physicians to access current patient information such as medication, lab results and patient status directly on their Sprint handheld devices, both inside and outside the hospital. With this technology, a physician can dictate his requirements directly to the phone and obtain current information. The ability to access information at all times improves the overall productivity of the caregiver and enables effective patient management. MEDITECH Inc., a leading software vendor in the healthcare informatics industry, will be demonstrating this new technology with Sprint and Nuance at the 2007 HIMSS Annual Conference, Feb. 25 ? March 1, 2007, in New Orleans.
"Nuance's expanded relationship with Sprint reflects the ongoing demand for speech solutions within the large and rapidly growing healthcare vertical," said Michael Thompson, vice president and general manager, telco, search and communications, Nuance. "We are working with Sprint, an industry leader in providing mobility solutions, to deliver mobile access to pertinent hospital information through natural spoken commands. Solutions such as these help healthcare organizations increase productivity, improve the quality of healthcare and reduce operating costs."
"Healthcare organizations of all sizes are facing a wide range of challenges including rising costs, increased regulatory and reporting requirements, demands for improved patient care, and workforce shortages," said Bill Montgomery, national director of healthcare sales for Sprint. "Wireless technology, particularly the products and services Sprint offers in conjunction with technology providers like Vocera, Nuance and Meditech, helps mitigate these challenges by providing anytime, anywhere access to mission-critical data and improving the communications amongst caregivers, resulting in enhanced patient care."
Sprint has been offering voice and data services for the healthcare industry for more than 30 years and has a full data-services portfolio including business-continuity, wireless, wireline and managed services. In addition, Sprint's strong portfolio of security products and services can also help healthcare organizations address HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) security requirements. For more information, visit sprint.com/healthcare.