Canberra Hospital enhances patient safety with smart medical devices and messaging solution


Canberra Hospital provides general and tertiary acute public healthcare to the ACT and surrounding NSW region in Australia.

Canberra Hospital is the largest public hospital in the area providing care to more than 500,000 people through a range of services including acute inpatient and day services, outpatient services, women’s and children’s services, paediatrics and pathology.

The Adult Mental Health Unit (AMHU) is focused on providing a safe and supportive environment for patients with acute mental illness or disorder.

Efficient messaging is critical to provide safe care for patients. Incidents that occur across the clinical space need to be responded to quickly.

At ACT Health, smart devices were only operating as phones and there was no emergency duress alarm that provided accurate geographic location. That meant juggling multiple devices when it was time to respond to a call.

ACT Health required an open standards solution that could be easily integrated and interconnected across locations within the existing infrastructure.

ACT Health works with Spectralink smart medical devices, which are medical device certified and fit within the clinical stack around the delivery of critical alarms.

The ALE solution needed to provide messaging and duress alarms as well as location-based services, triggered by the alarm button on the Spectralink device.

Location-based services are fundamental to responding to incidents quickly. Together with ALE messaging software, mission-critical messages are sent with unique audio and unique tones, so staff know if it’s an alarm code they need to respond to even before they take the device out of their pocket.

Additionally, the command center sees when the call has been acknowledged and if someone is responding. Introduction of the Spectralink device also means staff only require one device.

After a successful proof of concept (POC), the solution was adopted for duress situations at Mental Health Ward 12B.

IQ Messenger is the engine for innovative use cases extending staff safety with Duress/Lone Worker functions – and the IQ Messenger Smart app provides paging across the hospital.

“Since we’ve moved to Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise and some of the solutions they’re providing for us such as messaging and duress, we’ve really seen it refine and get much easier, so clinicians now simply have one device to go to that can do everything they need,” said Peter O’Halloran, Chief Information Officer, ACT Health.

Technical benefits

• Integration between Spectralink smart medical devices (using an alarm button) and Alcatel-Lucent OmniAccess Stellar IoT Bluetooth Gateways and IQ Messenger enable alarm messaging enriched with location information

Financial benefits

• Location services lead to cost and time savings otherwise spent looking for staff, patients or equipment

• A single smart medical device results in reduced PPE and ICT costs

• Equipment durability means devices aren’t being replaced if they are accidently dropped or fall into water

User experience benefits

•  Safe and organized workspace. The new technologies support improved facility and organizational workflows

•  Better staff support and better patient care

•   Improved staff communications and collaboration and a safe environment