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Improving Employee Communications and Collaboration: Niagara Health

The Niagara Health System (NHS) is Ontario, Canada's largest multisite hospital group, consisting of 6 hospitals and an ambulatory care center serving 434,000 residents across 12 municipalities. The NHS has approximately 4200 employees, including 1800 nurses and 650 physicians. Care provided is wide ranging, and includes approximately 186,000 patient visits annually at the emergency departments and urgent care centers, and more than 184,000 ambulatory clinic and community program visits.

A recognized leader in the healthcare industry, NHS needed a way to enhance employee communications across its seven, geographically dispersed sites. The NHS is also dedicated to the continuous improvement of its patient services and was looking for innovative technology solutions that would enable the organization to meet this goal while achieving operational cost savings. After deploying a converged voice, video, data, and wireless network, they were able to connect in-house and remote staff to one another, strengthening communication and enabling higher-quality patient care. Clinical staff are now taking advantage of new videoconferencing capabilities to collaborate about patient case loads, share their expertise, and participate in certification training without having to travel.

These two examples clearly illustrate how video can help healthcare practitioners build and maintain certifications, communicate more efficiently, collaborate more effectively, and enhance many other day-to-day activities.

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