Sprint to implement wireless networks at Illinois' Central DuPage Hospital

Overland Park 08 April 2004Sprint has reached a wireless solutions agreement with Central DuPage Hospital that will enable it to become one of Chicago's most high-tech hospitals. The innovative wireless solutions will allow nurses, physicians and administrators to communicate instantly with each other and obtain mobile access to important patient information from virtually anywhere within the hospital, resulting in optimal patient care.

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Under the agreement, Central DuPage Hospital will deploy the Sprint PCS Vision Smart Device Treo 600 by palmOne, along with the Horizon Mobile Care Rounding application by McKesson. This combination of mobile handset and software will allow physicians remote access to patient information both in and outside the hospital, including real-time access to laboratory and radiology results, vital signs, medication updates and patient history. This point-of-care communication system contributes to improved patient safety and reduced costs, and is part of a continuing joint effort by Sprint and palmOne, a major manufacturer of handheld computers and highly acclaimed smartphones, under their business solutions agreement to provide best-in-class mobile solutions to the health care industry.

In addition to the Sprint PCS Vision Smart Device Treo 600 solution, Sprint's innovative two-way radio system, Sprint PCS Ready Link, will also be deployed by Central DuPage Hospital to facilitate instant communication between hospital staff members. Using Sprint PCS Vision Ready Link Phones, clinical staff will benefit from quick, walkie-talkie-style communication with co-workers anywhere within the hospital on the enhanced Sprint Nationwide PCS Network.

"Our partnership with Sprint allows caregivers to improve patient care by accessing information using PDA-based wireless devices and the enhanced Sprint network", stated Dr. Jim Thompson at Central DuPage Hospital. "Now, we can access patient information securely in and out of the hospital by leveraging multiple platforms. This allows us to deliver on our goal of offering cutting-edge medical care."

Sprint will also implement an in-building network solution with Spotwave Wireless Inc. that provides optimal Sprint wireless coverage throughout the hospital. Additionally, Central DuPage will be the first hospital added to the growing list of Sprint PCS Wi-Fi ZONES. Now, patients and visitors can get instant access to the Internet at one of 160 access points within the hospital. Sprint PCS Wi-Fi Access, a high-speed wireless data service that uses the hospital's existing 802.11b network, will allow hospital visitors and patients to look up health-related information on the Internet, stay connected with friends and family and send e-mails on the status of loved ones at multi-megabit speeds. Customers will need a Wi-Fi Internet card or laptop embedded with Wi-Fi technology and a Sprint PCS Wi-Fi Access account.

Sprint PCS Wi-Fi Access is currently priced at an introductory rate of $6,95 per connection, per location for 24 hours of unlimited access. In addition to Pay-As-You-Go access, a Month-to-Month plan was recently added to the available billing options.

"With wireless carriers playing an influential role in the adoption of mobile technology for the health care industry, we are seeing a growing trend of hospitals starting to lift restrictions on cell-phone use inside their facilities", stated senior analyst Philip Fersht at the Yankee Group. "And, with Wi-Fi Hot Spots popping up in public places across the country, I think we will see more and more hospitals making their existing 802.11 networks available to the public so that visitors and patients can, just like at a hotel or an airport, enjoy the benefits of wirelessly connecting to friends and family during a long stay at the hospital."

"Sprint recognizes that mobile technologies are becoming increasingly important for enabling health care providers to deliver higher quality patient care in a more timely and efficient manner, while meeting regulatory compliance requirements", stated Stephen Rowley, area vice president for Sprint Business Solutions - Central Area. "Sprint is proud to team with Central DuPage Hospital to provide convenient, effective and secure mobility solutions that meet the needs of their staff."

Sprint is dedicated to providing integrated communication solutions that help health care providers balance patient care, manage costs and comply with mandated regulations. Sprint has been offering voice and data services for more than 30 years and has a full data services portfolio including business continuity, transport (IP, FR, ATM, wireless) and managed network services. In addition, Sprint has built a strong portfolio of security products and services that health care organisations can leverage to address the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) security requirements.

Sprint is also leveraging its portfolio of wireless and wireline assets to provide integrated, managed mobility solutions designed for the health care market. Sprint can also provide solutions for the healt hcare market including digital imaging and telemedicine capabilities. Sprint has been recognized for its leadership in vertical markets overall with the 2004 Frost & Sullivan Telecom Services Vertical Company of the Year Award and the 2002 Frost & Sullivan Market Engineering Leadership Award for Customized Healthcare Solutions.

Sprint is a global integrated communications provider serving more than 26 million customers in over 100 countries. With approximately 65.000 employees worldwide and over $26 billion in annual revenues in 2003, Sprint is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying state-of-the-art network technologies, including the United States' first nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network and an award-winning Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint provides local communications services in 39 states and the District of Columbia and operates the largest 100-percent digital, nationwide PCS wireless network in the United States.

Central DuPage Hospital, Winfield, Illinois, is a 361-bed acute care hospital that opened in 1964. It is the second busiest surgical centre in Illinois with over 21.000 surgeries performed annually. Speciality areas include cardiology, orthopaedics, neuro/spine, minimally invasive surgery, high-risk obstetrics and neonatal, paediatrics, behavioural health and emergency medicine. The medical staff consists of more than 700 physicians representing over 40 specialities and subspecialities. The hospital has five convenient care sites in Bloomingdale, Naperville, St. Charles, Bartlett, and Wheaton.


Leslie Versweyveld

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