Halifax Health Expands Use of Vocera Communication Platform to Improve Security and Efficiency

Vocera Communications, Inc. the leading healthcare communications company, announced that Halifax Health, the largest medical provider in east central Florida, has expanded its use of the Vocera Communication Platform, selecting Vocera’s secure text messaging solution for physicians in addition to Vocera’s hands-free communication system that has been used by care team members for several years.  Integrating the hospital’s key clinical systems with Vocera has also improved operational workflow and patient care delivery.
For more than six years, Halifax Health has partnered with Vocera to improve care team communication and patient experience. In 2009, the hospital implemented the Vocera® Communication Badge, a wearable voice-controlled device that enables instant two-way or one-to-many conversations. The mobile solution quickly reduced overhead paging in the health system’s 99,000-square-foot emergency department, which prompted an expansion of the hands-free devices to more than 3,200 personnel and nearly every clinical department. In the hospital’s France Tower, where each floor is the size of a football field, the Vocera system also made it much easier and faster for staff members to locate each other.
"Before implementing Vocera, many of our nurses were exhausted simply trying to track down colleagues. With Vocera, care team members connect faster and the hospital became quieter – a more ideal environment for healing and working," said Tom Stafford, vice president and chief information officer at Halifax Health. “There is no other communication system that can send a notification as closely and instantly to a nurse than Vocera. That’s why, when it came time to select a secure text messaging solution, we chose the Vocera Collaboration Suite. Our successful, long-time partnership with Vocera, and the fact that the smartphone solution combines texting with voice communication and integrates with our clinical systems, made it an easy and natural choice.”
The trend of ‘bring your own device’ has presented many risks and opportunities for health systems around the country. With more than 500 physicians on staff, Halifax Health turned to Vocera to avoid these risks and provide a secure texting solution for clinicians inside and outside the hospital. In early 2016, Halifax deployed the Vocera Collaboration Suite, a mobile application that enables HIPAA-compliant texting, alert notifications and voice calls via smartphones using intelligent call routing by name, role, group, and availability. Now, clinicians can securely connect and consult by text or voice, eliminating unsecure communication, improving staff response times, and reducing delays in care.  
In addition, Halifax Health has integrated the Vocera Communication Platform with several clinical systems, including the hospital’s electronic health records (EHR) and patient flow systems. Integration with Meditech enables discharge notifications to be sent automatically to the right care team members via their smartphone or hands-free Vocera Badge as soon as the physician’s orders are entered into the EHR, accelerating the entire patient discharge process. Since the integration, Halifax Health has reported an 8 percent decrease in the time it takes to discharge a patient on the oncology unit.
“Halifax Health truly understands the importance of instant and secure communication between clinicians across the entire healthcare system,” said Brent Lang president and CEO of Vocera. “An integrated, enterprise communication strategy helps safeguard physicians and patient information while also improving the healthcare experience for hospital staff, patients and families.”
About Halifax Health
Halifax Health is the largest medical provider in east central Florida, serving the counties of Volusia and Flagler since 1928. The hospital has more 4,300 team members and more than 500 physicians, representing 54 subspecialties. Halifax Health provides the area’s only Kidney Transplant Program, Pediatric Emergency Department, 24-Hour Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units, Comprehensive Stroke Center, and Interventional Radiology Service to name a few. The Obstetric Emergency Department is also the only one of its kind in the area, serving 90,000 patients annually.  The Halifax Health Emergency Department is the largest in Florida with 99,000 square feet, 102 treatment rooms and a 4,500-square-foot rooftop helipad.
About Vocera
Vocera Communications, Inc. offers the most robust clinical communications system in healthcare. Installed in more than 1,300 organizations worldwide, Vocera delivers secure, integrated and intelligent communication solutions that enable care teams to collaborate more efficiently by delivering the right information, to the right person, on the right device, in the right location, at the right time. Vocera solutions provide hands-free voice communication, secure text messaging, patient engagement tools, and integrated clinical workflow with EHRs, nurse call systems and physiological monitors. These solutions help improve operational efficiency, quality of care, safety and satisfaction across the continuum of care. In addition to technology solutions, Vocera drives thought leadership and new standards in care to elevate patient, family, nurse and physician experiences via the company's research collaborative, the Experience Innovation Network. Vocera is led by President and CEO Brent Lang and is headquartered in San Jose, California, with offices in San Francisco, Tennessee, Canada, India, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. Robert J. Zollars is the Chairman of the Board. 
Tara Stultz 
Amendola Communications