Amity Group is the leading provider of residential aged care facilities in Australia, with 47 aged care facilities across the continent. Amity Group offers various levels of service and care, including high-level residential care for people who need regular assistance with their daily activities.
To further improve and expand the range of services available to residents of aged care facilities, Amity Group initiated a pilot project for the use of advanced Internet and IP communications technologies. After a review of proposals from several providers, Mitel’s IP communications solution was chosen. This solution, which included the voice and data networking infrastructure for the entire site, was sourced from Total Communications, a Mitel authorised reseller. Installation and project management was carried out by Voicepoint, a Mitel platinum accredited systems integration partner.
Gabriel Chang, technical team leader for Amity Group commented, “From our central administration office in Sydney, the technology team at Amity Group supports 47 aged care facilities spread across Australia. With such a large number of locations, delivering consistent levels of service to our residents is a constant challenge. We can now deliver first class levels of care by centrally managing our service delivery. Both web and phone based technologies are critical to our ability to deliver information to our carers and clinical employees.”
The first stage of the technology project involved a successful deployment at Amity Grand at Willoughby in New South Wales. Delivering significant end-user benefits, the solution for the site includes a Mitel 3300 IP Communication Platform (ICP), as well as a Wireless LAN and Gigabit Ethernet IP network. The wireless network covers all indoor and outdoor areas of the facility. The highly intuitive Mitel 5330 and 5340 IP Phones were selected for nursing stations and administrative areas.
Complementing Mitel’s strategy for delivering best-of-breed solutions for vertical markets, voice activated pendants manufactured by Vocera have been seamlessly integrated with the 3300 ICP. The small voice activated wireless pendants are worn around the neck by carers, allowing them to make completely hands free phone calls. The pendants use speech recognition technology to “listen” to spoken commands, and can be used from any part of the facility, including outdoor areas.
Additionally, specialised Oricom analog telephone handsets, designed to be easily used by people with hearing and vision impairments have also been installed in each resident’s room, and fully integrated with the Mitel IP communications solution.
Chang commented further, “To deliver first class service to our residents and carers, we need a solution that is both easy to use and reliable. Most importantly, we need to be able to easily manage everything remotely from our head office in Sydney. Mitel’s web-based management tools have made it possible for us to easily maintain the system, without needing expensive site visits. We also found that Mitel’s IP handsets are very clear and user friendly, with easy to customise LCD screen messages. Integrating voice activated pendants from Vocera into our Mitel solution was a quick and easy process, and has made it easier for our carers to carry out their jobs.”
To ensure every resident has access to superior levels of care, Amity Group has established centralised support teams at their Sydney administration office. Front line carers are able to access information immediately using web-based applications or call dedicated help desks for clinical support. These centralised resources make it possible to deliver consistent levels of service across a large number of sites. Human resources assistance, technology support, and medical information are all made available via centrally delivered services.
The technologies deployed at Amity Grand at Willoughby gives residents the ability to connect to a secure Internet service, as well providing a simple mechanism for the technology group to deliver itemised billing of phone services. These advanced services will be progressively deployed to additional facilities over the next few years.
Chang continued, “Many of the other IP communications solutions we evaluated were just too expensive and complicated for our business. Our focus is on delivering services to help improve the lives of our residents, and Mitel’s solution was a great fit for our business needs.”
Gwilym Funnell, managing director of Mitel Australia commented, “Mitel’s IP communications solutions give healthcare and aged care organisations the opportunity to develop new services for their clients, as well as streamline their services delivery. Our easy to manage systems are able to be scaled from small sites with 10 beds, through to large hospital facilities with thousands of beds.”
About Amity Group
Amity Group is the leading provider of residential aged care facilities in Australia. Amity Group offer a mix of low and high care, extra service facilities, and specialist care programs including dementia care. Established in 1999, Amity Group operates a total of 47 aged care facilities across Australia and is the largest provider of aged care extra services in the country. For more information visit www.amitygroup.com.au
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Camille Beasley, Media