ChallengeHow to increase efficiency and reduce the response times for acute health issues that require specialised care and have a narrow time window for treatment.
SolutionVonage Video and Voice APIs
ResultsCritical care patients are receiving more rapid responses and a higher level of medical attention from the Vonage Voice API critical alerts and the staff can perform more efficiently in their jobs with Vonage video communications. There has been a 10-minute decrease in “wait time” for critical treatment and a 10-15% increase in hospital staff productivity.
The Importance of Innovative Technology to Chi Mei Hospital
Located in Tainan City, Taiwan, Chi Mei Hospital is the largest integrated health care system in the Yunlin-Chiayi-Tainan area of Taiwan. Providing high-quality health services to more than 3 million patients, Chi Mei Hospital is focused on offering safe, high-quality medical care, as well as supporting the health and well-being of its staff and community. The Hospital is also a centre of education for medical professionals.
According to Lin Jingjia, senior system analyst and programmer at Chi Mei, the medical industry in Taiwan is dependent on continuous innovation and the ability to adapt to advanced technology. This is particularly true for medical centres.
“The competition between large hospitals is very fierce. In order to provide more convenient and advanced healthcare services to consumers, our IT department is tasked with discovering new technology to improve efficiency and patient experience,” Jingjia said.
It was because of Chi Mei’s desire to use the best and most innovative healthcare technology that they implemented Vonage’s Voice and Video APIs into its communications system. Choosing Vonage increased work efficiency at Chi Mei Hospital and improved digital communications to help the hospital’s staff and doctors become more efficient.
Vonage Voice API: Saving Time Means Saving Lives
Chi Mei Hospital primarily uses the Vonage Voice API to alert its medical staff of critical emergencies that need to be addressed extremely quickly. Take situations that concern ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), a very serious type of heart attack, for example. In those cases, every second a patient waits for treatment increases the risk to their health. In a STEMI situation, one of the patient’s major arteries is blocked and a large part of their heart muscle is unable to receive blood. A rapid medical response is crucial.
With the use of Vonage Voice API, critical alerts are used to notify the appropriate STEMI healthcare professionals in the hospital’s ICU and STEMI wards. When medical staff on duty detect an elevated critical pattern that suggests that a patient is having this kind of heart attack, they press an alert button on their mobile device that triggers a Vonage-enabled text-to-speech (TTS) voice alert to the mobile phones of the cardiologist and cardiac catheter staff on call. The practitioners can then rush to administer life-saving treatment to the patient.
Before implementing the Vonage APIs, sending notifications was a manual, time-consuming process. The medical staff on duty had to identify the relevant STEMI response staff and call them individually to alert them of the emergency. “By using the Vonage Voice API, our staff does not need to manually call doctors or on-site caregivers,” said Lin Jingjia.
“The time that is saved is actually saving lives. Our patients’ wait time for STEMI treatment has been reduced by an average of 10 minutes, which is extremely valuable, given that the ‘golden window’ for treatment with STEMI is just 90 minutes. We’ve also seen a 10 to 15 per cent increase in staff productivity since deploying this new system.”
Vonage Video API Adds Enhanced Features to Remote Video Meetings
The Vonage Video API is another critical technology for Chi Mei Hospital. The Vonage Video API has enabled real-time interactive experiences such as:
video consultations between doctors
remote video meetings between doctors, patients and patients’ families (typically families who live abroad)
remote video meetings for education purposes (between doctors and interns)
“Vonage Video API is a great improvement over the commercial video conferencing tool that we were using before,” said Lin Jinglia. “It gives us more flexibility as we develop more programmes. It also allows us to archive video footage, which is critical for medical records.”
According to Lin Jinglia, the support that comes with Vonage technologies is extremely important. “With the speed that technology changes today, it’s clear to us that not only the technology itself needs to be advanced, but also the team that provides services and support. The Vonage team consistently offers quick responses and provides tailored support to help with specific problems. They have helped us save a lot of time.”
Benefits of Vonage APIs
As Lin Jinglia points out, Vonage APIs address several key issues for Chi Mei. The Vonage Voice API helped increase work efficiency, while the Video API created new communication behaviours. Used together, the APIs helped hospital staff and doctors adapt to digital communications and the hospital become more competitive and provide better services and experiences for people.
He cites the top three benefits of using Vonage APIs as
easy to build APIs
awesome support from the sales and tech team
“The overall impact of using Vonage is very positive,” said Lin Jinglia. “Patients are getting better service and care from the Voice API system and doctors/nurses can perform more efficiently in their jobs. Especially in the emergency room, critical alerts are making a very positive difference with both doctors and patients.”