How did Ikonix Technology help?

By implementing the new technology in Ikonix Unified Messaging Suite (IUMS), the NHS now has a modern communications system with high reliability and flexible messaging functionality to reach the right person on the right device, every time.

Introducing Noarlunga Hospital.

Serving the community around 30km south of Adelaide city is the Noarlunga Hospital (Noarlunga Health Services, or NHS). This 92-bed hospital provides inpatient and outpatient services:

  • A 24/7 Emergency Department that sees more than 40,000 patients every year,
  • An Emergency Extended Care Unit,
  • Short stay, lower acuity elective surgery and procedural services including dialysis,
  • Inpatient Geriatric Evaluation and Management and highly specialised Dementia support, and
  • Inpatient Mental Health facilities.

What did the hospital need?

As with many facilities, an ageing communication system was no longer able to be updated and improved, as it neared its end of life. This required the hospital to upgrade its infrastructure to ensure continuity of service, as well as access modernised and improved outcomes.

As an established partner to SA Health and with existing relationships within Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (SALHN) of which NHS is a major facility, Ikonix Technology was selected to implement leading-edge connectivity.

The legacy service took inputs from the Building Management System (BMS), the fire system, security systems, and duress systems both fixed and mobile. It transmitted data in a basic, fixed format, without more intelligent workflow processing that could have improved operational outcomes.

Core takeaways.

Ikonix Technology identified the opportunity to improve outcomes during the upgrade. In the prior configuration bottlenecks occurred in how information was distributed, with a fragmented messaging model that made getting messages to hospital staff complicated and made maintenance difficult and slow.

With the Unified Messaging Suite, a variety of significant updates were implemented:

  • BMS migrated from an old serial connection to a modern RESTful API for intelligent message routing.
  • Fire system migrated from basic contact switches to the UMS to provide targeted alerting to specific staff groups in the event of an alert.

Security system workflows were thoroughly investigated to better understand where data was generated, to define a more precise outcome:

  • Now, when an alarm is activated, a message is generated based on the location of the event, this is conveyed via the UMS directly to the relevant personnel for action, rather than to unrelated security team members, and
  • Security escort mobile duress system was migrated from legacy serial connectors, with alerts now processed by the UMS and again alerting only those relevant and responsible, improving the response.

Better quality data for an informed response.

Under the obsolete system, messages were sent from the source to a single pre-programmed pager number. This resulted in more staff being alerted that needed, and poor maintainability when the hospital’s operational needs changed.

Using the UMS’s Message Integration Engine, the data generating system no longer needs to specify recipient information. It only needs to create the security event.

This lets the system triage and direct information flows as appropriate, and in a much more sophisticated manner. Noarlunga staff can also manage the contacts themselves, rather than relying on third-party management.

The MIE makes the intelligent decision – as defined by NHS during consultation – as to where the message is delivered and on which device.

This lets the system triage and direct information flows as appropriate, and in a much more sophisticated manner. NHS staff can manage the contacts themselves, rather than relying on third-party management.

What can happen now?

For the mobile workforce, this upgrade has boosted efficiency. They have fewer distractions and more actionable information, allowing greater focus on the important tasks at hand, and a more timely and targeted response to alerts. This has an obvious and direct impact on operations effectiveness and is expected to improve morale and job satisfaction.

Moving data from direct serial connections to a shared processing environment in the Ikonix UMS immediately modernises the communications network for the hospital. This has an immediate impact on reliability, as well as fault diagnosis and therefore uptime, while the on-premises deployment to the existing server environment can be maintained with the NHS’s own ICT experts.

The alert direction and triage of messages can now be managed within the hospital’s own administration teams, using Ikonix Technology’s WebConnect browser-based platform. This empowers Noarlunga staff to proactively manage how their facilities and security communications are directed, reducing the need for outside support.

By implementing the UMS, Noarlunga Hospital can now further integrate other legacy systems, either immediately or as they, too, age into obsolescence. One such improvement is the coming implementation of Ikonix Connect, a smartphone-based communications solution for one-to-one and one-to-many interaction, purpose-built for clinical settings.