Advocate Health Care is the largest healthcare provider in Illinois and one of the top 10 health systems in the United States based on clinical performance, according to information company Thomson Reuters. Advocate operates more than 250 sites of care across metropolitan Chicago, including 10 acute-care hospitals, 2 children’s hospitals, 5 level-I trauma centers, a home health services company, and one of the region’s largest medical groups. As a not-for-profit, faithbased health system, Advocate contributed more than U.S.$462 million in charitable care and services to communities across the Chicago metropolitan area in 2009.
For the past several years, Advocate has grown through acquisition and now employs 30,000 people. To help integrate healthcare professionals and other employees spread across a continually growing geography, management made a strategic decision to upgrade and modernize the company’s communications infrastructure. Specifically, it wanted to embrace unified communications (UC), whereby telephony, email, instant messaging, text messaging, video conferencing, and other communications services are connected through an easy-to-use interface.