April 06, 2009

Collaboration offers complete wireless convergence, to help improve the quality of patient care and speed clinical decision-making

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. & WAUKESHA, Wis., Apr 06, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Sprint (NYSE: S) and GE Healthcare today announced that Methodist Healthcare (San Antonio, Texas) has signed a substantial, multi-million dollar contract for a complete, innovative wireless infrastructure, software and services. The deployment supports Methodist Healthcare’s vision to enhance patient outcomes by enabling anywhere and anytime communication among caregivers as well as continuous, remote access to life-critical vital sign data.

"Wireless communication plays an integral role in getting information to clinicians at the right time and in the right place, helping to speed clinical decision-making and deliver exceptional patient care throughout the continuum of care," said Eddie Cuellar, CIO of Methodist Healthcare. "Our decision to collaborate with Sprint and GE Healthcare underscores our commitment to leveraging advanced wireless applications and technologies to help meet the needs of our tech-savvy physicians and staff, while managing our growing wireless capabilities as efficiently and effectively as possible."

This new deployment will result in a converged wireless ecosystem for six hospital sites within the Methodist Healthcare. The deployment includes:

  • GE CARESCAPE(TM) Enterprise Access, an integrated wireless platform that enables critical patient data to be securely managed, coordinated and distributed without the type of communications failures, interference or interruptions that can be caused by un-integrated systems. Powered by the Wire-It-Once architecture of MobileAccess, CARESCAPE Enterprise Access provides hospitals with coverage for wireless patient monitoring, multiple cellular providers, wireless LAN (WLAN) and public safety radio, and other wireless services, over a single infrastructure.
  • More than 800 Sprint wireless phones--carried by physicians, nurses and staff throughout the hospital--will run on CARESCAPE Enterprise Access to support better caregiver communication and productivity.
  • The ability for Methodist to further expand use of the GE wireless patient monitoring system, which allows patients to be more mobile and helps contribute to better outcomes. With CARESCAPE Enterprise Access, Methodist can leverage its existing ApexPro(R) CH telemetry system and expand with GE CARESCAPE T14 telemetry solution to simultaneously monitor vital signs for more patients using the two protected frequency bands.

"Wireless technologies have the potential to fundamentally change the way clinicians and healthcare systems operate," said David Ataide, Vice President and General Manager of GE Healthcare Monitoring Solutions and Diagnostic Cardiology. "By collaborating with Sprint, we can provide caregivers near-immediate, wireless access to critical patient information, which supports our overarching goal of early health. We applaud Methodist Healthcare’s forward-looking commitment to driving wireless monitoring solutions throughout its entire healthcare system."

By design, Methodist Healthcare’s wireless infrastructure has the flexibility and scale to meet healthcare mobility needs and compliance demands, today and in the future. This solution enables clinicians to extend the reach of patient care beyond the hospital walls and provides visitors the ability to use personal wireless devices and access the internet throughout the building. This new wireless infrastructure will cover approximately 1.9 million square feet with voice and data services.

"Sprint and GE Healthcare have created an exceptional value proposition for healthcare providers by collaborating to drive complete wireless healthcare convergence in the hospital setting," said Mike Fitz, vice president, Converged Solutions at Sprint. "Rather than taking a piecemeal approach to building a wireless ecosystem, Methodist Healthcare saw the value in working with two trusted industry-leading companies. Sprint and GE Healthcare have created a wireless environment that supports Methodist Healthcare’s current communications needs while also leaving room to expand for future innovation, including 4G and WiMax capabilities."

Sprint is a leader in providing enhanced in-building and campus-wide network consulting, integration and fixed mobile convergence solutions. Sprint designs, deploys and maintains wireless networks and mobility solutions that deliver the productivity and efficiency of voice and data communications to virtually anywhere a business and its employees need them. The Converged Network Solutions team offers 24/7 technical support and manages all stages of the customer-deployment process, from the initial requirements assessment through installation and deployment with consultant-grade methods, procedures and tools. For more information about Sprint CNS, please visit www.sprint.com/cns.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving more than 49 million customers at the end of the fourth quarter 2008; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.

About GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, performance improvement, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping clinicians around the world re-imagine new ways to predict, diagnose, inform, treat and monitor disease, so patients can live their lives to the fullest.

GE Healthcare’s broad range of products and services enable healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases and other conditions earlier. Our vision for the future is to enable a new "early health" model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, pre-symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com.

About Methodist Healthcare

Methodist Healthcare is San Antonio’s largest and most preferred health care provider whose 24 facilities include eight acute care hospitals: Methodist Children’s Hospital of South Texas*, Methodist Hospital, Methodist Heart Hospital*, Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital*, Northeast Methodist Hospital*, Metropolitan Methodist Hospital*, Methodist Ambulatory Surgery Hospital and Methodist Stone Oak Hospital.

These facilities offer a wide variety of health services including transplant, cardiac care, oncology, behavioral health, emergency medicine, bariatrics and women’s and children’s services.

For nine years straight, San Antonio consumers have rated Methodist Healthcare as providing the highest quality care and image in the market. The award was presented by the award by National Research Corporation, a national leader in health care quality measurement and improvement. This award is representative of the quality of care received by all patients at each Methodist Healthcare facility in San Antonio.

* A Methodist Hospital Facility

SOURCE: Sprint

Sukhi Sahni, 703-592-7779
GE Healthcare
Autumn Latimore, 414-721-4013