Tag Archives: Healthcare

Skills Based Routing: The Smart Way to Communicate

The accurate and efficient flow of information is essential in a medical environment.  A patient’s call to a hospital or clinic needs to be routed to the right person in a timely fashion.  Patient information needs to be transmitted efficiently to medical staff and caregivers too.

Traditional automated call distribution (ACD) systems utilize queuing methods.  More specifically, ACD systems send callers to the next available representative on a first-come first-serve basis.  However, ACD systems can be cumbersome and inefficient, particularly in a medical setting.  With an ACD system, for example, a patient may need to talk with several representatives before they are matched with the right operator, department or caregiver.

Skills Based Routing (SBR) systems, on the other hand, are designed to gather information from an incoming call and assign that call to the representative with the skill-set most suited to handling that caller and his or her situation.

Here are several ways SBR can help medical organizations:

  1. Caller ID: As much info is gathered at the outset, sometimes even before an operator answers the call. For example, SBR systems can use caller ID (and the patient’s calling history and medical file) to route calls to the agent most likely to be of help.
  2. Global View: Allow operators to track and accumulate patient information during every stage of the call’s life cycle. As a result, patients will not have to repeat information they provided earlier. Similarly, operators will always have a complete patient profile, including the latest information, when receiving a transferred call. Further, operators will also have a picture of who is available to take the patient’s call.
  3. Efficient Workflow: Hospitals deal with a wide range of calls every day; emergencies, physician referrals, general inquiries, sales calls and much more. Efficient routing is essential to an organization’s workflow. For example, quickly ascertaining whether callers require language interpretation, immediate attention or administrative personnel can help hospitals allocate resources appropriately.
  4. Unified Communications: Many hospitals lack a unified or well-functioning call center. Often, hospitals will have multiple call centers for separate departments. In such cases, it is difficult (if not impossible) to transfer patients to the appropriate party, let alone relay vital information about the patient and the reason they are calling to a third party. As a result, antiquated calling systems entail reduced customer satisfaction, misdirected calls, institutional errors and lost time. In a medical setting, mishandled calls can be a matter of life and death. SBR systems, on the other hand, provide caregivers with a unified, efficient and cohesive communications platform.
  5. Improved Service and Reduced Costs: Studies show that handling a call correctly from the outset improves customer satisfaction while reducing organizational costs. With call routing, skill-specific operators handle the calls that they are most suited to, which means an organization’s resources are deployed most effectively and efficiently. The result is improved patient care, lower operating expenses and reduced legal liability.

SBR systems help integrate patient data seamlessly into the call experience, leading to improved patient outcomes.  The technology is especially advantageous during natural disasters or peak activity situations when hospital resources are likely to be stretched thin.  In sum, skills based routing helps hospitals and caregivers respond more intelligently and efficiently to their patients.

Resources:

  1. http://answerstat.com/article/skills-based-routing/
  2. http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/skills-based-routing-key
Bob Higginbotham

About Bob Higginbotham

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com

The Changing Landscape for Healthcare CIOs

Over the past decade, the healthcare sector has gone through significant changes, and with the growing importance of technology in healthcare, the change has been substantial. The healthcare sector has not only embraced tech innovations such as telehealth, remote monitoring, and unified communications, but it is also developing new ways to implement these innovations, from creating better treatment procedures to positively impacting the overall healthcare system. As such, the role of hospital CIOs has transformed drastically.

A recent article in MedcityNews.com provides a view into the moving landscape of the Healthcare CIO as a major influencer and decision maker. Comparing the current state of a hospital CIO to that of an “embattled soldier”, the article cites the views of Jim Turnbull, CIO for University Utah Healthcare. He has started describing his job as VUCA, a military acronym for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.

This isn’t so strange considering that today’s healthcare market is more dynamic than ever before. Over the past three years, as most healthcare IT departments have been busy implementing the EHR technology, “When they lifted up their heads, they realized the world had changed dramatically,” said Turnbull at CHIME14 in San Antonio, calling the state of healthcare IT “intense.” Down the road, hospitals will face a growing need to consider wearable technology, the concept of accountable care, more robust security for its tech spaces, and varying reimbursement models, among many other concerns. Their ability to grasp needs and evolve accordingly will determine how well they can use technology to combat health issues and give patients a better experience, every time.

Rick Schooler, Vice President and CIO for Orlando Health, however, feels “intense” is too mild a term to describe the tumultuous state of today’s healthcare industry. “There really is too much going on at once,” he says. “What’s going on in our organizations is really nuts. Our people are getting jerked around almost endlessly.”

According to Turnbull, given the current state of healthcare, CIOs must emphasize collaboration and partnership as the key to maintain the fine balance. And, patients, of course, should be prioritized. This is how present-day CIOs need to deal with the dynamically shifting landscape of healthcare tech. It will be interesting to watch how the industry adapts under this constant state of change.

At Avidex AV, we seek to partner with healthcare organizations to deliver audio, video, collaboration and telemedicine solutions that drive innovation and improved efficiencies for our clients. Let’s connect to see how we can help your organization meet its technology needs.

Joel Harris

About Joel Harris

Joel Harris brings invaluable insight to the Avidex team in his role as CEO, with years of experience leading national technology, healthcare and business organizations. You can reach Joel at jharris@avidexav.com

Telemedicine Just Became Easier

Dr looking at computer with patientTelemedicine is rapidly sweeping the world of healthcare as a technique that can help different kinds of people get easier access to healthcare. For proponents of this practice, telemedicine just became easier, thanks to the integration of video conferencing and electronic medical records.

The Old Way: Separated Records And Video Conferences

Before this kind of integration, video conferences used to diagnose patients were valuable, but tough to incorporate with other healthcare records. Doctors and their staff members would have to conduct a manual write-up based on a telehealth appointment, then file that write-up into the patient’s other medical records. If things were lost in the time between the appointment and the recorded entry, there was a risk of critical medical information getting lost. Integration of video conferences and medical records has changed this technique.

The New Way: Video Files As Medical Records

More sophisticated integration between telehealth visits and medical records means telemedicine just became easier for doctors as well as patients. What specific kinds of benefits does this integration bring to the field of healthcare? There are several key advantages:

  • Doctors and nurses get to save a great deal of time because they do not have to block out some of their time to record information from their telemedicine appointment into a patient’s file. With newly integrated telemedicine platforms, doctors can simply save a video file into a patient’s records so that they are in the proper format. Most telemedicine systems take care of the formatting as well, which means healthcare providers never have to worry about incompatibility with electronic medical records. This also saves money for healthcare networks, since it means less work for employees
  • Because of this integration, patients can access video records more easily. This is important because of the frequency with which modern patients are now accessing their records online. Statistics show that in 2011, 80% of Internet users gathered health information using the Internet. Some of this information gathering includes accessing provider-created medical records using shared networks
  • Telemedicine also becomes more efficient because previous telehealth visits are recorded in a more prominent place. Now that video files can be integrated into electronic records, doctors who need to go back to past telehealth appointments can do so very easily since they can find them in patient records that they access all the time.

How To Capitalize On This Integration

While it is true that telemedicine just became easier because of the integration with electronic records, it is still critical for healthcare facilities to be able to use the right networks and systems to maximize their use of these integrated platforms. It is very important to get in touch with a capable AV integrator that can provide healthcare specialists with the tools necessary to both provide telehealth services and record their results effectively. With a proper system for telehealth and recordkeeping, healthcare providers that are sufficiently trained, and patients who understand the benefits of this integration, it will be much easier for telemedicine to have a positive impact in the healthcare field.

At Avidex AV, we seek to partner with healthcare organizations to deliver audio, video, collaboration and telemedicine solutions that drive innovation and improved efficiencies for our clients. Let’s connect to see how we can help your organization meet its technology needs.

Bob Higginbotham

About Bob Higginbotham

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com

How Smartphone Technology Is Going To Revolutionize Healthcare

pateint on cell phone with doctorSmartphone technology has already dramatically changed society, but there are areas where smartphones will have a particularly big impact in the future. Healthcare is one of the biggest of these fields. There is plenty of evidence that makes it easy to see how smartphone technology is going to revolutionize healthcare in the very near future.

Improving Provider Communication

We already have the ability to get in touch with doctors and their staff members at almost any time thanks to smartphones. The next step in the evolution of smartphone technology in the healthcare field is more sophisticated communication between healthcare colleagues. Instant file sharing, video communications, and conference calls with multiple people simultaneously will all help doctors collaborate more effectively.

Telemedicine

No discussion of how smartphone technology is going to revolutionize healthcare would be complete without including a mention of telemedicine. Telemedicine allows doctors to see their patients without being in the same physical place, which is ideal for rural patients or those who cannot easily travel to a healthcare appointment. The data to support the rise of telemedicine is already there; business analytics firm PricewaterhouseCooper reports that roughly 50% of all consumers would be willing to use technology to access healthcare services. Smartphone technology should continue to have a big impact on the delivery of telemedicine, as the number of adults who used their cellular phone to receive information about their health nearly doubled between 2010 and 2012.

Integrated Healthcare Platforms

When looking at how smartphone technology is going to revolutionize healthcare, it is important to consider smartphone tools as a part of a larger system. A great example of this kind of integrated platform is Apple’s iOS 8 upgrade, which is set to include a new app called HealthKit. HealthKit allows users to monitor things like nutrition, sleep, and footsteps. HealthKit will be designed to work in tandem with the iWatch, Apple’s upcoming entry in the controversial field of wearable technology.

HealthKit and iWatch will be excellent technology for consumers looking to become more mindful about their health. However, most industry experts believe that the success or failure of the HealthKit and the iWatch will hinge on whether or not the healthcare industry is willing to adopt these tools for patient monitoring. In an article published recently in The New York Times, Brian Chen draws parallels between Apple’s negotiations with the music industry to sell music on iTunes and its collaboration with healthcare partners to make the HealthKit and the iWatch a success. History already tells the story of Apple’s success in the music industry with iTunes and the iPod: only time will tell whether or not Apple can find similar success in the world of healthcare.

Regardless of how successful the iWatch and HealthKit are, these healthcare tools and others like them exemplify the most important factor in how smartphone technology is going to revolutionize healthcare: creating a proactive system of health monitoring that allows for early detection of health issues and communication of these issues to providers using several different tools. As smartphone development continues to push towards changing healthcare forever, it will become increasingly important for patients and providers alike to have access to the right platforms and programs to make healthcare communications with smartphone devices safer and more efficient.

Bob Higginbotham

About Bob Higginbotham

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) – The Challenge of Nonstandard Communication Links

Dr on Smart phoneBYOD is becoming extremely popular in today’s workforce. According to IT research firm Gartner, by the year 2018 70% of mobile professionals will handle their work using personal smartphones. There are some key benefits of BYOD policies: companies spend less money on computer equipment and workers are free to work in more places than ever before. There are also some challenges of nonstandard communication links with BYOD that must be understood and overcome by organizations that want to implement these kinds of policies successfully.

Security Concerns

One of the biggest challenges of using a BYOD policy in the workplace is coming up with a comprehensive security policy that can keep devices safe, especially when considering nonstandard devices that may not have the same security measures in place as normal devices. Ellyne Phneah at ZDNet writes that some of the BYOD security challenges involve lost or stolen mobile devices and unauthorized access of company data by third-party applications. To overcome these kinds of challenges of nonstandard communication links with BYOD, it is important that companies have a security policy that prevents against these types of risks, such as a comprehensive software suite that can separate company data from personal data on a user’s device. Often, these security tools can be used to remotely lock a device that is lost and then wipe all of the phone’s information if it cannot be recovered.

Picking The Right Platform

When you are going to be integrating a BYOD policy into your workplace, it is important that you are using the right kind of technological platform so that all of your devices are properly compatible with each other. This is one of the most difficult challenges of nonstandard communication links with BYOD. Are your nonstandard employee devices going to be able to access company servers? Will they be compatible with the collaboration or ERP software that you are currently using? To answer these types of questions, it may be necessary to bring in a specialist or an outside IT consulting firm that can help you ensure that all of your devices are compatible and will not cause any issues for your network in terms of compatibility.

Maintaining Compliance With Telehealth Regulations

Despite the security risks that are involved when BYOD policies are used in healthcare, it is still extremely popular with healthcare professionals. In a recent article in Healthcare IT News, it was reported that 9 out of every 10 Americans employed in healthcare use personal smartphones for work. Mike Lovett, executive VP of NextGen Healthcare, advises healthcare organizations that are looking to implement BYOD to ensure that they are using devices appropriate for the tasks that are being completed and create boundaries so that devices are not used in ways that could cause security risks for the organization.

These are three of the biggest challenges of nonstandard communication links with BYOD, however there are plenty of other obstacles that organizations looking to implement BYOD successfully will face. Make sure that you think carefully about how your organization will implement BYOD in a way that is safe, effective, and meets all of the standards put in place that govern your industry. 

Bob Higginbotham

About Bob Higginbotham

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com

Are cloud based solutions right for the healthcare environment?

Doctor cloudThe tech industry today is abuzz with information about the cloud: what it is, how it is being developed and implemented, and why it matters. In the complex world of healthcare, many doctors and administrators are still unsure about what the cloud is and whether or not it can help them do their work. Because of the nature of the medical field and the already-existing applications for cloud technology, cloud based solutions and the healthcare industry are very well suited for each other.

The Cloud’s Current Position In Healthcare

Reports and research show that the cloud is already being harnessed regularly in the healthcare field. Markets and Markets, a research firm based in Texas, projects that by 2017 the global healthcare cloud computing market will be worth $5.4 billion. M&M further reports that many HCOs are setting aside money to migrate their systems to the cloud in the next five years. Adoption is happening quickly: in a more recent Forbes Article, Louis Columbus references data indicating that 83% of IT executives say they already use cloud services.

An article in CIO also points to the rise of cloud use in the healthcare field: Brian Eastwood writes about a 31% rise between 2012 and 2013 in the use of the cloud for storing personal health information. It is clear that the cloud is present and on the rise in healthcare, but healthcare professionals looking to truly understand the connection between healthcare and the cloud also have to examine why the cloud is entering the field at such a rapid rate.

Why The Cloud And Healthcare Are Perfect For Each Other

Cloud based solutions and the healthcare industry make sense together primarily because of the way that the cloud stores and provides access to data, which is an integral process in the medical field. There are many healthcare applications where cloud solutions can make information access easier and more streamlined than traditional methods:

  • Managing payment and financial data: the cloud makes it much easier for administrators across an entire healthcare facility or system of facilities to access and edit financial data, which makes accounting procedures less difficult to manage
  • Backup and disaster recovery: in case of a major natural disaster or other event that wreaks havoc on a healthcare facility’s on-site computing systems, cloud solutions will make recovery much easier
  • Clinical data and applications: this is a huge reason that cloud based solutions and the healthcare industry are a good match. Cloud solutions mean that doctors and their staff can access clinical tools used for patient care from any location, which makes it easier to review patient records, make notes about treatment options, and provide more accurate diagnoses

Although it is clear that cloud based solutions and the healthcare industry will work well together, there are hurdles to this union. Some network administrators express concern over potential challenges with security and HIPAA compliance that the cloud might pose. Regardless of these obstacles, current data and future projections indicate that cloud based solutions and the healthcare industry are going to be closely connected for many years into the future.

Jim Colquhoun

About Jim Colquhoun

Jim Colquhoun is the Chief Technologist for Avidex. Jim brings an exceptional record of management and operational experience, as well as expertise in the design and integration of communications, AV, and broadcast systems. Jim can be reached at jcolquhoun@avidexav.com

The Importance of Using an AV Integrator that Specializes In AV Healthcare vs. a General AV Integrator Firm

operating room with displaysAudiovisual services are very important for a wide array of organizations, from educational institutions to private corporations. However, healthcare facilities in particular need an AV solution in place that is designed specifically for their own unique needs. It is important that medical doctors, nurses, and administrators get help from an AV integrator that specializes in AV healthcare instead of using a generalized AV provider that might not be very familiar with the world of healthcare. This will help medical professionals ensure that their AV systems are being applied the right way.

Applications For AV Systems In Healthcare

While audiovisual services are helpful for promoting communication and learning among all kinds of companies and individuals, in the world of healthcare the right AV systems could quite literally be the difference between life and death. There are several common applications for AV systems in the healthcare field:

• Hosting virtual meetings between doctors and medical professionals that may not be in the same physical location but still need to discuss important healthcare issues that impact their practice
• Providing patients and their family members with key information about a patient’s vitals, medication needs, and current status within the facility
• Allowing medical doctors and their nurses and other colleagues to discuss an operation or other type of procedure with each other while it is taking place, through cameras and microphones that can be placed in operating theaters and exam rooms

Because AV is used so frequently in crucial healthcare applications, it is important that you retain help from an AV integrator that specializes in AV healthcare. Why should you seek out an AV specialist that understands the specific challenges that are involved with healthcare AV, as opposed to finding a general AV company? Several reasons:

• An AV integrator that specializes in AV healthcare understands the specific kinds of communications that doctors and their team members need to have with each other in order to successfully provide patient care. They know the way information like patient charts, medical codes, and physician diagnoses needs to be formatted, transmitted, and received.
• Because of their past experience with the healthcare field, an AV integrator that specializes in AV healthcare will be able to understand what specific kinds of systems are most suitable for healthcare needs and how to set up and troubleshoot these systems.
• AV companies that specialize in healthcare work usually are also familiar with software companies and other relevant vendors, which means they can guide management and administrators in the right direction if they are setting up a new healthcare facility or completely overhauling an existing audiovisual system.

According to InfoComm, a well-known audiovisual trade association, healthcare is the quickest-growing North American market for AV systems. The fast development of technology along with recent changes in healthcare laws and an aging population of baby boomers means that hospitals, outpatient clinics, and rehabilitation centers all need to have high-performing AV systems in place. An AV specialist with a focus on the field of healthcare will be able to provide your healthcare facility with the advice and technical service needed to keep all elements of your AV system running smoothly.

Bob Higginbotham

About Bob Higginbotham

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com

Sutter Health CEO Sheds Light On The Future of Healthcare

Perhaps no other topic has been discussed and debated over the past few years more than healthcare.

No matter your stage of life or what you do for a living, access to quality healthcare is an important issue and while certain steps have been taken over the past several years to improve the system, there is most certainly a ways to go before it will be optimized.

At Avidex AV, we have an entire division of our business dedicated to the healthcare industry because we see the way technology is shaping the industry. This is precisely why we love to learn, listen and share to the great minds that are talking about how the healthcare system can be improved. And by improvement, we mean more than just the technology; we mean the industry as a whole.

Recently, we came across a great online conversation with Patrick Fry, CEO of Sutter Health on Forbes. In this interview, Fry was challenged to answer questions about the future of healthcare. Topics such as how can we solve waste in the healthcare system, how do we improve care without cost, what impact will mobility have on the industry and what may the industry as a whole look like by 2025?

As an industry veteran and experienced CEO, Fry provided thoughtful feedback that wonderfully summed up so many questions that executives throughout the healthcare industry have.  For all of our readers out there, we felt this was one of those pieces that you shouldn’t miss and as we continue to find them, it will be with great pleasure that we pass them along.

For more great insights from this interview that was originally seen on Forbes, you can click here – Visionary Healthcare Leaders: Patrick Fry, Sutter Health CEO. To learn more about Avidex AV, and how we are working side by side with healthcare systems around the US to drive technology oriented solutions to yield better patient outcomes, check out our site AvidexAV.com or get in touch.

Jeff Miller

About Jeff Miller

Jeff has been working in the professional AV integration industry for over twenty years. During that time he has served as Designer, Project Manager and/or Account Executive for hundreds of projects. As an Account Executive at Avidex, he specializes in Medical, Education, and Control Rooms. He can be reached at jmiller@avidex.com

Healthcare DIGITAL SIGNAGE AND WAYFINDING

hospital-digital-signageWhich healthcare Digital Signage (DS) and Wayfinding (WF) solution is right for you? And is it worth the cost?  There may be no better (or safer) answer to this question than, it depends. To use an example, asking this question is like asking someone shopping for an automobile: Do you want a 1966 Volkswagen Beetle, or a 2014 Ferrari 458GT? Both can get you there, but they have very different looks, features, performance characteristics, maintenance requirements and cost factors. They do the same thing in very different ways, but both are automobiles.

Digital Signage and Wayfinding are a means of communication to inform, educate and/or entertain. Within these product categories there are a wide range of products and services available with a wide range of prices to match.

On the surface, Digital Signage and Wayfinding seem pretty straightforward. Put up some TV’s and send them a signal. But wait, this only brings a flurry of additional questions such as:

• What signal?
• What information?
• Is it public, or private?
• Is it copyrighted, copy protected, or unknown?
• Will more than one thing be displayed simultaneously?
• How frequently will it be shown?
• Does it run 24/7?
• Does the content change with time/date or some other factor?
• Who has responsibility for the content?
• Is it more than one person, or department?
• Should this tie into the EMS (Emergency Messaging System)?
• How much does it cost?

These questions, and more, are part of the process of defining what digital signage can do for your “specific” purpose, or purposes. The good thing is, most products have options, and many systems have built-in flexibility that allows them to be customized to suit your need.

When it comes to this type (or any) of technology, there is no reason investing a single dollar until the goal is defined, and a decision is made on content. This should be priority one. Who is going to create it, modify it, and approve it before it goes to a display? This can be done internally, or outsourced. It can be owned on a private network, or cloud based with a monthly fee.

Digital Signage and Wayfinding at their best are networked and managed remotely. Yes, network topology and bandwidth are critical factors when planning and supporting a successful DS/WF system. The IT Department will be involved in the process. The good news is DS/WF components are similar to many other devices on the network. Content type, resolution, and update frequency will have to be considered to keep the network happy.

Displays come is many sizes, types and resolutions. They can be used in portrait or landscape mode. They can go in spaces that are small or large, public or private. They can even go in elevators, lobbies, waiting rooms, break rooms, and ER’s. When it comes down to it, with a little planning, the displays can go just about anywhere that power and signal feeds can be located.

As for content, this can also come in a range of formats. On the simple side, PowerPoint, or some similar software, can be used to create and update information directly to a display, or to a thumb drive. Some display manufacturers are including built-in digital signage in their product offering. This is often an inexpensive way to do a basic system. For more advanced applications there are a plethora of great software solutions for creating, managing and distributing content.

Perhaps the easiest way to explain this is that Wayfinding is in many ways similar to Digital Signage, with the biggest difference being the specific purpose. Generally, Wayfinding is used to supplement, or replace fixed signage, where information needs to be updated on a regular basis like conference centers, meeting rooms, training areas or other places in the hospital where information is updated frequently.

Just remember these 2 things when planning your Digital Signage and/or Wayfinding project. First, like any successful project, it is best to start with a goal in mind and work back through the multitude of options. And second, content is king. Start with the messaging and the other parts of the system will follow.

Bob Higginbotham

About Bob Higginbotham

Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at bobh@avidexav.com

Why Technical Expertise Matters

For the majority of applications audiovisual system design and integration is fairly similar across the different vertical markets. It does not take a high degree of specialty in any one vertical market, for instance, to design a conference room presentation system. Regardless of whether this conference room is located in a house of worship; inside a corporation’s headquarters; at a government facility or on the campus of a university, the solution will likely be similar. Though the configuration and user experience might change slightly, for the most part, these vertical markets are quite similar.

surgery simulation room finalHowever, with the healthcare industry, this is not the case. For the medical and healthcare vertical market planning, system design, integration and managed support can be quite different than it is in education, government, corporate or house of worship markets. Although each vertical market has idiosyncrasies, slightly altering the design of systems, there are substantial factors that are unique to the healthcare market, creating areas of expertise for healthcare-centric integration firms. These firms have a deeper understanding of important healthcare and medical considerations, such as patient privacy and treatment center construction best practices. This familiarity allows certain integrators to distinguish themselves as premier healthcare facility solutions providers, for both large and small audiovisual systems.

When looking to integrate audiovisual systems, whether presentation, digital signage, patient-room display, videoconferencing or collaboration it is best to partner with a solutions provider with an impressive portfolio in the healthcare sector. Avidex has been a premier partner for doctors’ offices, healthcare facilities, hospitals, biopharmaceutical companies and universities in providing comprehensive audiovisual solutions tailored to healthcare applications. Solutions ranging from executive board rooms to state-of-the-art nursing laboratories, simulation facilities and seminar rooms in universities, hospitals and patient care facilities these specialized applications require tailored integrated solutions designed to train, develop and assist healthcare providers and educators. These integrated solutions encompass a broad range of audiovisual technologies that empower healthcare professionals to effectively communicate their message internally and externally as well as collaborate with colleagues around the world.

In order to best plan, design, integrate and support audiovisual solutions for medical facilities, doctors’ offices and patient care centers, a high degree of specialization in the market and familiarity with technology that is manufactured and used for healthcare AV is required. Avidex has formed strategic partnerships with premier healthcare-specific technology manufacturers, allowing designers and engineers to have access to the latest, cutting-edge, products available to the market. Our engineers examine these products and then our designers incorporate them into systems intended to give healthcare professionals unparalleled quality in their presentation, training and collaboration solutions.

Partnering with Avidex provides matchless experience in the healthcare sector. Regardless of the intended application, Avidex can plan, design, integrate and support systems capable of connecting people and ideas globally within the healthcare market. Presentation, training, remote patient interaction, streaming video and videoconferencing systems are highly utilized by healthcare facilities and require a deeper degree of involvement in patient care facilities than in other markets. Avidex leverages their partnerships with top-tier audiovisual and medical technology manufacturers to integrate systems that maximize functionality and offer a premium return on investment.

Shedan Maghzi

About Shedan Maghzi

Shedan Maghzi - Avidex President has been directly involved in the AV industry for over 25 years. Maghzi joined Avidex in February of 2004 as General Manager of Northern California. He later advanced into the position of Vice President of Avidex’s Fremont, CA office, one of the nation’s most successful audiovisual groups providing design, systems integration and support services. Maghzi has held a wide range of leadership positions in the AV industry including Project Manager, AV Consultant, Director of Technical Services and General Manager with leading San Francisco Bay Area audiovisual firms. Shedan can be reach at smaghzi@avidexav.com