American Hospital Association endorses AT&T as preferred communications technology provider

San Diego 13 February 2006AHA Solutions Inc., a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association (AHA), and AT&T Inc. have agreed that AHA will endorse AT&T voice and data networking products as the preferred communications solutions for AHA's membership of nearly 5000 hospitals and health care organisations and 37.000 health care professionals.

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In conjunction with the endorsement, AHA and AT&T unveiled an agreement to promote the adoption of state-of-the-art communications solutions, including Internet Protocol (IP)-based communications and mobility applications, across the nation's hospitals and health care systems. The AT&T-AHA agreement is designed to make these new-generation communications solutions available to the United States' health care providers to help them enhance patient care, protect privacy, and adopt efficient electronic health record systems.

The selection of AT&T by AHA Solutions culminates an extensive review and market assessment by AHA Solutions' professional staff of the services and health care-specific offerings available from leading communications and networking providers. AHA's endorsement of AT&T is an indication to hospitals and medical IT professionals that the AT&T portfolio of voice, data and IP solutions meets the needs and standards of today's health care provider.

"AT&T not only has the widest United States and global presence, but they also demonstrated to us a comprehensive understanding of the issues facing health care and a deeply rooted commitment to delivering telecommunications products and services that meet the long-term IT needs of our field", stated Anthony J. Burke, president of AHA Solutions Inc. "We look forward to working with AT&T, along with our portfolio of other technology solutions, to promote the adoption of communications and IT solutions that enhance quality patient care and enable hospitals to operate more effectively and efficiently."

Under the agreement, AT&T will market its voice and data networking products and services to hospitals, as endorsed by the AHA. In addition, AT&T, AHA and AHA Solutions will co-operate in sponsoring various marketing and educational activities focused on health care information technology.

As a benefit for AHA members, AT&T in the coming months plans to offer in-depth communications and IT assessment for hospitals and health care offices. These assessments will help health care facilities to gauge strengths and weaknesses of their current technology strategies, benchmarked against best practices of peer organisations. AT&T will analyse these strategies and provide recommendations for improvements. In addition, AHA Solutions will develop and market ongoing promotional campaigns to AHA members with new features and benefits.

"AT&T is proud to be endorsed by the AHA, and we look forward to providing AHA members with access to one of the world's most advanced IP networks and a single source for their communications needs", stated Frank Jules, AT&T senior vice president of Business Marketing. "The new AT&T is a next-generation communications provider with the proven infrastructure, global breadth, financial resources and commitment to meaningful innovation to be a stable, long-term partner for all segments of the health care field."

Among the AT&T services that were reviewed and endorsed by the AHA are: digital private line services, optical networking solutions, ATM and frame relay, Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network (IP-VPN), Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), local and long distance phone services, custom calling features, dedicated Internet access, DSL service (AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet Business Edition), network management, Centrex, ISDN service, video transport services, WAN management and reporting services, network management, and comprehensive communications management.

AHA's endorsement of AT&T's voice and data networking products was officially announced at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference and Exhibition, held in San Diego. AT&T's complete portfolio of product solutions for the health care field were on display at the HIMSS conference, with a special focus on:

  • Security: AT&T offers a secure carrier network and managed and equipment-based security applications for customers that provide increased organisational network security. This helps health care providers enhance patient privacy and compliance with the federally mandated Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • Telemedicine: AT&T optical network solutions allow health care facilities to expand the continuum of care for a patient beyond its four walls to other skilled nursing facilities, universities and even a patient's home.
  • Mobility: AT&T's mobility solutions provide in-building wireless network functionality, in conjunction with Cingular Wireless medical applications, including for recording and accessing patient information, and for accessing essential clinical references and related tools in one easy-to-use, continually updated, affordable application.
  • IP Networking and Applications: The AT&T portfolio of business productivity services includes a full range of IP-VPN connectivity options, as well as IP applications such as AT&T Voice Dynamic Network Applications (DNA), a network-based voice over IP (VoIP) service ideal for small facilities, branch offices and remote locations. AT&T business services are backed by AT&T BusinessDirect, the company's industry-leading customer portal, which provides automated, on-line access to ordering, service, management and monitoring functions for all business networking services.

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organisations and individuals committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which includes close to 5000 hospitals and health care systems, networks, and other providers of care, and 37.000 individuals. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.

AHA Solutions Inc. is a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association that collaborates with companies to create strategic financial, technology, regulatory, employee benefit, and insurance products and services for health care professionals. It functions as a resource agency to AHA-member hospitals and other health care organisations.

AT&T Inc. is one of the world's largest telecommunications holding companies and is the largest in the United States. Operating globally under the AT&T brand, AT&T companies are recognized as worldwide providers of IP-based communications services to business and as United States providers of high-speed DSL Internet, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising services. AT&T Inc. holds a 60 percent ownership interest in Cingular Wireless, which is the no. 1 United States wireless services provider with more than 54 million wireless customers.

More news on AT&T is available in the VMW January 2004 article AT&T and Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) to advance United States' Grid networking infrastructure.


Leslie Versweyveld

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