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Reduce Cost and Dependency On Paging

Saving lives is one of the main purposes of a hospital. In order to fulfill this purpose, a hospital must have clear communication. Healthcare providers work together and are constantly in communication in order to provide the best healthcare possible. However, trying to manage multiple pages can cost both time and money. One hospital found a solution to this problem and it’s saving them in a big way.

 

The Problem

 

Within the hospital, pagers are used for communication between the staff. For example, caregivers often page doctors for the needs of multiple patients. This requires doctors to manually check on each patient in two ways. They must make sure that the patient being paged about is either getting covered by another specialist, or decide whether they need to go take care of the needs of that patient themselves.

 

One hospital realized that this process was taking up to 20 minutes of time and costing the hospital. During this time, the doctors were not taking care of patients and were costing the hospital money for standing around trying to make sure that each patient was covered. While this seems like a short amount of time, on average a healthcare worker goes through hundreds of these incidents per year. The time adds up. These incidents ended up costing this hospital tens of thousands of dollars every year.

 

To try and solve this problem, they used an outside paging service, but this service alone cost thousands of dollars per month. In order to solve this problem, the hospital needed a way to repeat messages to unanswered pages and involve a backup resource after that. By not requiring each person to manage their pages, the caregivers would be able to tend to the next emergency or task. This would significantly cut expenses for the hospital and would reduce the amount of dependency on outsourced paging services.

 

The Solution

 

HipLink provides an easy way to configure the hospital's unique process for patient coverage of several types of emergencies. In action, HipLink sent pages multiple times, provided grouping, and escalation functions. This means that caregivers were no longer wasting time managing their own pagers. They were able to continue on with their work with the assurance that patients in need were still getting help. They also provided multiple messengers so that they weren’t just relying on one system to communicate.

 

The Results

 

By using Hiplink, this hospital was able to reduce their monthly expenses. Moreover, they were also less dependent on an outside paging agency for their run practices. Hiplink also improved their patient response time, lowered operation costs, and increased productivity. It’s estimated that because of Hiplink, this hospital saved over $100,000 during their first year of use.

 

Time is so important in a hospital. Wasting time can cost mass amounts of money and lives. By using Hiplink, this hospital was able to make comprehensive improvements. They made more money, wasted less time, and saved more lives. This is why this hospital, along with many others, have implemented Hiplink into their business.

 

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Increase Safety and Security through Interoperable Communication

The world of communication changes rapidly, and when internal and external paging methods cannot keep up, major operations face a communication crisis. One of the busiest international airports in the world, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, found itself in just such a situation. After discovering what changes were needed, O’Hare International Airport proceeded to look for a solution that would save time, money, and lives.

 

The Problem

With tens of millions of passengers and hundreds of thousands of flights going through O’Hare every year, superior communication is essential. Safety and security depend on interoperability and straightforward communication between not only various terminals and departments within the airport, but also with federal agencies, emergency services, and police. In the case of an international airport, these safety and security needs have a direct impact on national security.

 

The existing paging system depended on five hundred dedicated terminals. While this alone was a bit of a logistical nightmare, the situation was even more complicated. Each terminal depended on an agent or operator to send a page or wireless message. The processes had to be repeated for repeated messages. It was tremendously time consuming and unwieldy. In the worst cases, it could take hours to notify all relevant personnel and responders. In an industry that depends on speed, Chicago O’Hare needed a better solution to their communication needs.

 

The airport needed a centralized design that would allow rapid communication and cut down on costs. In addition to these basic requirements, O’Hare needed a system that could categorize reports based on departments and a web-based Graphical User Interface to ease use and further speed deployment. These requirements would build a reliable system that solved immediate problems and set up the airport for future communications developments.

 

HipLink’s Solution

HipLink brought a solution that addressed two of the airport’s major concerns immediately. HipLink Application Messaging became part of the communication center. Thanks to the design of the system, it provided a centralized messaging solution while also allowing modular organization. Scalable and flexible, the system would allow for future developments and expansions with relatively little effort. In addition to answering O’Hare’s primary needs, the intuitive system promoted rapid learning. It wasn’t difficult to integrate into the airport’s system or to train their employees.

 

The Results

By blending analog and wireless solutions, the new system is much better suited to an international airport’s needs. The cost of running the paging system dropped considerably, and responder response time also improved. In some cases, the response time went from hours to minutes.

 

The new system utilizes automated features, such as failover, to ensure the necessary responders receive their messages. With the system’s modular structure, O’Hare’s communication specialists improved their organization to consider things like location, responsibility, agency, and even the severity of the emergency. This would not have been possible under the previous system.

 

A single terminal now gives operators superior control over paging and messaging. It’s the ideal solution for the busy international airport, both now and for the foreseeable future. Passengers and employees are safer, and the nation is more secure.

 

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Advanced Technology That Improves Communication

Loblaw Companies Limited shaped and in many aspects created the modern supermarket. Self-serve style supermarkets were an innovation, and the chain had over 1,000 locations with a new set of headaches to handle. Communication was top priority. That’s where HipLink joined Loblaw Companies Limited and had to make sure Canada’s largest food distributor kept up with the demand.

 

The Basic Issue

 

Loblaw’s technical support group had a lot riding on their shoulders. They oversaw the software that controls distribution, inventory, and billing departments (among others). They worked hard to make sure systems stayed active, but no program is perfect. When one system went offline, they had to be prepared to spring into action. Communication was key. Paging key personnel or placing a few calls was not enough. Too many calls went unanswered and pages were lost. They needed a faster, real time way to connect with staff on location to ensure the downtime doesn’t impact the entire business.

 

Technical Problems

 

Basic solutions like calling and paging were used for years, but as technology advanced, the need for a more efficient way to communicate became imperative. It can become quite easy for things to go wrong when you’re picking up a phone or sending a page. Even when the system is working perfectly, it’s time intensive and eats resources that the technical support group could be placing elsewhere.

 

The problem with replacing the system, however, had to do with size and scalability. Using phones and pagers wasn’t working perfectly, but it was working alright: orders were mostly getting filled, however the communication through manual paging and phone calls was very time consuming. Loblaw concern was that they didn’t want to jump from a workable, inefficient solution to one with greater drawbacks. “Out of the frying pan, into the fire” could drastically impact the business. Moving forward with an enterprise-wide solution wasn’t feasible. Choosing a difficult to implement solution wouldn’t allow them to roll it out to the rest of the company in stages. They were at a standstill until they found HipLink.

 

HipLink’s Flexible Solution

 

HipLink offered the functionality of other systems but with the opportunity to quickly launch a simple, straightforward solution that solved their immediate problems. Loblaw was able to see HipLink in action before committing to an enterprise-level system upgrade. It installed quickly and barely interrupted any workflow. Scaling was simple. HipLink rose to meet the challenges and impressed the support team with its responsiveness and ease of use.

 

Loblaw is a large company, but you don’t have to be a large company to benefit from HipLink. Wireless communication is key to handling time-critical, high impact information. HipLink is a powerhouse, whether it's used in one department or all of them. Best of all, it grows along with your business.

 

 

 

To read the full case study, click here.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saving Lives through Improved Communication

Medical centers are in the business of saving lives, making patient survival rates heavily dependent on the expediency and efficiency of the medical center’s communication methods. For instance, the ER nurse activates the trauma teams and the doctors and staff need the paging system to keep each other informed of developing situations and emergency cases. Unfortunately, the most common technical solutions for medical communication are outdated and inflexible. 

 

The Oklahoma Medical Center

Medical centers need very specific communication systems in order to meet HIPPA standards which require that sensitive information is protected. This results in limited upgrade options that can restrict opportunities for growth and improvement. However, medical centers do grow. One of the primary problems with an existing system at Oklahoma Medical Center was its failure to keep pace with other key systems. The distributor’s poor customer service and technical support made it difficult to fix problems or improve existing flaws.

 

An Oklahoma Medical Center needed more from their communication service. They needed hardware and software that could reach doctors and specialists on any device or platform. Any potential solution would have to reach staff on various carriers. A web-based graphical user interface (GUI) would simplify communication. Most importantly, the new system needed to be reliable, and it needed to back up that reliability with redundancies.

 

HipLink’s Solution

HipLink drew the Oklahoma Medical Center’s attention with the HipLink Desktop Messaging solution. It started at the heart of the medical center’s system by addressing the need for a web-based graphical user interface. This centralized system creates a natural shortcut to processes that took far longer under the old system. As departments were able to use templates for rapid messaging, first responders no longer had to go through phone trees. In addition, on-duty staff could rely on their messaging system to alert them in emergencies.

 

HipLink also implemented carrier redundancy. The system provided additional reliability with automatic failover and carrier support. With the system’s flexibility, the medical center is free to grow and adapt to new technology. This is thanks to HipLink’s scalable products, which transfer easily between different platforms, devices, and carriers.

 

A Brighter Future for Patients

The centralized solutions that HipLink brought to the Oklahoma Medical Center immediately eased the center’s mission to provide the best quality care to patients. With the new system in place, doctors and staff can rely on their paging system. It reaches everyone, cuts down wasted time, and is already saving lives.

 

Time is everything in a medical center, especially one with the diverse range of services offered by the Oklahoma Medical Center. HipLink’s centralized communication system made it possible to communicate faster, easier, and more reliably. Ambulance crews can get information back quickly, and data goes out to all of the relevant teams rapidly. Most importantly, HipLink remains involved with their system, providing the support the medical center requires. 

 

 

Read our case study HERE.

 

 

 

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Toms River Improves First Responder Communication

No one needs good communication like first responders. The information delivered by dispatchers can mean the difference between life and death, and a single missed message could mean a lost life. The New Jersey town of Toms River found itself facing a crisis. They dealt with hundreds of callouts a day and the old system simply couldn’t handle that volume of dispatches. It was time for a fresh solution. Lives depended on it.

 

Not only is Toms River the county seat, but it serves as an evacuation point, vacation destination and has a military base nearby. The demands for emergency services changes with each season. While flexibility is on every business’s shopping list, it’s harder to achieve than many assume. First responders deal with a wide range area, including barrier islands that have to be accessed through neighboring towns. They cover a lot of ground, and with all the seasonal guests, it is easy for callouts to become overrun.

 

This is exactly what happened. Toms River relied solely on a radio paging system to handle callouts and dispatch. The police, fire department, and ambulance staff all used the same system. It didn’t take long for it to reveal its flaws. In addition to its limited capacity for callouts, the radio system didn’t work well for officers at the edge of the system’s range. The calls never reached those answering calls from inside structures like shopping malls and apartment complexes. It was a dangerous gap in the first responders’ communication network.

 

A nine person team examined the situation and found the best solution. Although the radio system was a time honored part of the dispatch network, it needed supplemental technology. A CAD system joined the team, accompanied by HipLink notification software. The result was a system that used radio, but did not depend on it. First responders received notifications and information via their cell phones, and not just the station radio. This not only ensured all relevant parties had up to date dispatches, but it also provided a backup in case of radio failure.

 

It didn’t take long for the new system to prove itself. When the radio dispatch system failed, firefighters still received the callout via text. They managed to contain a kitchen fire that might otherwise have grown out of control. Toms River first responders are also getting ahead of emergencies by managing planning with Office of Emergency Management. Now they can interact with commercial cell carriers and it’s easier to warn officials and residents about impending danger. The town’s preparedness for hurricane Irene was a practical demonstration of how well prepared the first responders were.

 

 

First responders don’t have easy jobs, but the right communication software can make their roles easier to manage. With the right planning, they can even get ahead of natural disasters and seasonal increases of water-related accidents.

 

Read the case study HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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