Avaya on call with DOHMS

IP telephony network rolled out across Dubai health services

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By  Published  December 3, 2006

Dubai’s Department of Health and Medical Services (DOHMS) is rolling out a single communication channel across its health centres and hospitals by replacing its traditional private branch exchange (PBX) telephony system with an internet protocol (IP) phone network from Avaya.

The move will speed up communication times in critical emergency situations, a senior IT executive for the department claimed, a factor which could prove crucial in the treatment of patients.

DOHMS is rolling out Avaya’s unified converged communication IP telephony network to four hospitals and 16 health centres and expects to complete the project in 2010.

The technology has already been deployed in DOHMS’ newly-opened Trauma Centre and one health centre in Dubai.

Sina Khoory, IT director at DOHMS said the technology, which will provide a single communication channel through the hospitals and health centres, could mean the difference between life or death in emergency situations.

“We don’t want doctors to have as they have today, one GSM phone in their pocket and then another pager, and maybe another private telephone, so they are ending up with two or three devices,” he pointed out.

“This is very important because when we have different communication channels it takes more time to reach the physician. Sometimes saving lives is a matter of seconds.”

“This technology will give us one platform of communication systems that supports all services like calling services, paging services for emergency cases and announcements for static customers or mobile customers,” Khoory said.

The IP telephony network will be built around a central call centre which will make it easier for information to be shared between doctors and their patients and will speed up overall communications across the healthcare network.

By running its IT operations using IP telephony technology DOHMS will also find it much easier — and less expensive — to expand its network to accommodate new buildings or users.

“We are going to get the usage of telephony on our wireless networks so this reduces expanding the infrastructure of cabling to new areas,” explained Khoory.

Avaya’s team of IT specialists will work out the best way of migrating each existing telephone network to an IP-enabled network without disrupting the day-to-day operations of hospitals and health centres and with minimal downtime.

“Many companies talk about the criticality of maintaining uptime in their communications network, but nowhere is this more true than across a healthcare group such as DOHMS where a failure can have immediate life-impacting consequences,” commented Nidal Abou Ltaif, managing director of Avaya Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

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