Salem Hospital signs Daou for enterprise mobile health strategy by deploying wireless technology

Exton 06 June 2005Daou Systems Inc., a provider of IT consulting and management services to health care organisations, has contracted with Salem Hospital in Salem, Oregon, to develop a comprehensive plan for integrating wireless technology with the organisation's overall IT systems strategy. The contract represents the third significant mobile health project Daou has signed so far this year.

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Daou is providing a similar strategic plan for wireless to Southern Regional Health System, located outside of Atlanta, in addition to a mobile health design and implementation for Adventist Health System, headquartered in Lake Mary, Florida.

"Forward-thinking organisations like Adventist, Southern Regional and Salem understand the wisdom of taking an approach to wireless technology that takes the entire organisation, and the organisation's future, into account", stated Vince Roach, Daou's CEO. "In Salem's case, the facility has particularly ambitious goals for integrating wireless into its community health network, and a variety of other challenges including construction of a new building, that make a strategic plan all the more important."

Daou will develop a master plan to carry Salem Hospital forward through the next three to five years, addressing a number of initiatives. First, the hospital is working to install a clinical information system, a system designed to support mobile computing. "Mobile computing - point of service computing where a wireless IT device replaces manual record-keeping at a patient's bedside and anywhere else clinical care is delivered - is key to our overall mission in implementing the system, and that's one of the reasons Daou's assessment of our wireless needs is vitally important, being sure we have the infrastructure in place to support the system", stated Dennis Sato, the hospital's CIO.

In addition, Salem plans to build a six-story medical tower slated for completion in 2008. "We're already talking about how wireless will be used in the new building, and Daou's plan will address that", Dennis Sato stated.

Another important component of the strategy Daou develops will be off-campus mobile computing requirements, according to Dennis Sato. "One of our priorities is to connect physicians and other clinicians in our community to Salem's clinical information systems, and mobile computing will facilitate this", he stated. "We want to integrate our systems with those of the Salem community's physician groups, so that we can eventually build a community health record that physicians can access anytime, anywhere - not just clinical information, but Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS). Our infrastructure must be robust to support these requirements."

Daou was scheduled to begin its work in mid-April, with completion of the strategic plan in five to six weeks. Daou is also completing a six-month project for Salem with the design and implementation of an Internet portal solution for the hospital's physicians, nurses and other authorized clinical and administrative staff. The portal provides a single platform that integrates information from disparate systems into a single view, so clinicians can easily access updates and summaries of patient data.

Salem Hospital is one of the largest of Oregon's 63 acute care hospitals. It is a not-for-profit hospital, licensed for 454 acute care beds, and is guided by a 15-member volunteer Board of Trustees. Salem Hospital is a regional medical centre offering top medical services and technology to people in and around Oregon's Willamette Valley. As the leading regional medical centre in the Willamette Valley, Salem Hospital provides a broad range of top health services to all of Marion and Polk Counties. The hospital is the region's largest private employer, with approximately 3400 full- and part-time employees. There are over 400 physicians representing all specialities who admit patients to the hospital. More than 500 volunteers provide non-medical support for the hospital.

Daou Systems Inc. provides expert consulting and management services to health care organisations in the design, deployment and support of IT infrastructure and application systems. Its business focus is in three markets:

  • payers of health care services in the commercial markets
  • providers of clinical services (hospitals and hospital systems)
  • government health care organisations.

Daou offers services that include application implementation and support, management and technology related business consulting, wireless and wired infrastructure, mobile health and network services, application development and integration, and Web-based portal solutions. Daou has provided services to more than 1600 health care organisations, including private and public hospitals, managed care organisations on both the payer and provider sides of the market, as well as integrated healthcare delivery networks and some of the nation's largest government health care entities. More company news is available in the VMW May 2005 article Daou designs enterprise mobile health system for Adventist Health System.


Leslie Versweyveld

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