Industry Pace Setter

— November 01, 2007

UCLA Division of Neurosurgery
UCLA Medical Center, established in 1955, provides comprehensive services, including outpatient specialty surgical services and a Level 1 trauma center. The Division of Neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA is charged with the care of critically ill patients, whose injuries require immediate attention.

For physicians, however, quickly obtaining critical patient information was a challenge. They had to log onto multiple computers and then review paper files, and the data were never timely enough, as physicians treat patients throughout the UCLA medical campus and in satellite facilities.

Through an internal I.T. group within UCLA, neurosurgeons began to identify the critical data they needed to effectively treat patients. They wanted information such as patient vital signs, lab results, medication administration lists and images such as CT scans. They needed the ability to display the information on a single computer screen for each patient as they underwent surgery, awaited care in the hospital's emergency room or were treated in the ICU. By 2005, the effort was commercialized as a separate I.T. company called Global Care Quest. GCQ's software suite, called Integrated Clinical Information System (ICIS), was formally launched in 2006.

Mobilizing the technology was key. Once the data were centralized through ICIS and available via PC or laptop, the next step was to deploy the data through mobile devices to keep physicians upto- date whether they were on campus, across town or out of state.

SOLUTION: Global Care Quest ICIS Mobile; AT&T EDGE network; various devices UCLA physicians use handheld devices to access up-to-date patient information.

ICIS Mobile was commercially launched in October 2006, after having been piloted over the previous five years. Some 15 physicians in the neurology department use the solution, while another 10 use ICIS Mobile in the stroke program. The decision to use ICIS or ICIS Mobile as part of their regular practice was left to the individual physican, but awareness of ICIS has spread largely by physician word-of-mouth.

While ICIS Mobile is used in a variety of specialties and clinical environments within the medical center, it is having a significant impact on emergency stroke management. David Liebeskind, M.D., associate neurology director of the UCLA Stroke Center, says the ability to instantly access key clinical data - and images - from anywhere, is absolutely critical to successful stroke management.

"Time-to-treatment is critical in this area, probably more so than in any other area, including heart attack," says Dr. Liebeskind. "And it's not just time itself that's important, but getting as much information as possible in a short time is crucial to stroke treatment. Often, you get very little information, such as, 'weakness on the right side.'"

Dr. Liebeskind notes that he helped triage emergency cases while on a ski lift in Taos, N.M., hundreds of miles away from UCLA Medical Center.

ICIS Mobile uses AT&T's EDGE network for high-speed data transmission and can be accessed by a number of PDAs and cell phones, including the Palm Treo 750, Sprint 6700 EVDO and Verizon 6700 EVDO. -- LYNNETTE LUNA


For a smaller cruise line, a simple Web site saves the day.
CruiseWest, a second-generation, family-owned business based in Seattle, offers travelers the opportunity to explore remote, worldwide locales through personalized itineraries not offered by the traditional larger cruise lines. Business at the small adventure cruise line was heavily affected by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and the dot-com bust shortly thereafter. As a result,CruiseWest had to make the decision to eliminate its field sales staff, which had traveled throughout the year to host in-person events, and to disband its annual seminars and consumer events.

"People weren't traveling after 9/11, so we had to figure out a way to continue to reach out to people and convince them it was safe to travel and keep reminding them to buy our product," says Leigh Strinsky,CruiseWest's product development manager.

In an act of intelligent self preservation, one of CruiseWest's salespeople brought to Strinsky's attention GoToWebinar, a do-it-yourself Web event and online meeting service that would allow the company to host presentations online and stay personally connected to travel agents and guests all over the world without spending thousands on travel costs.That salesperson subsequently stayed on and managed the software for several years.

"When we first started, it was for self-serving reasons because we were cutting back on business travel," Strinsky says. "Now agents have embraced this technology and concept. Attendance keeps going up, and it's now a vital part of our marketing efforts."


Providence, R.I., Public Safety Communications Dept.
The city's new WiFi network aids first responders.
As the push for municipal wireless comes under increased scrutiny, Providence, R.I., is proving there is a business case for citywide wireless mesh networks - if they are targeted at the right market.

In early 2006, Providence became the first Northeastern state capital to deploy a citywide wireless mesh network based on Motorola's Mesh Enabled Architecture (MEA) that provides its multiple public-safety agencies with seamless mobile access to mission-critical voice, video and data applications being used in the field. Using multi-hopping technology, Motorola's self-forming, self-healing network enables dynamic routing around failed access points, areas of interference or congestion.

Public safety has long struggled with antiquated wireless technology that is unable to transmit critical information such as live feeds from video surveillance cameras or suspect photos and profiles. Every responder in the field can access high-bandwidth voice, video and data applications and key reporting tools right on the dashboards of their vehicles or via handheld wireless devices. Police can instantly access video surveillance, criminal databases and live traffic camera data from their patrol cars, allowing them to pre-plan their positions before arriving on the scene. Firefighters can download building blueprints and hazardous materials data while en route. Responding EMTs can view medical histories while in the field before assessing patients.

In addition to aiding in saving lives, the network is expected to result in savings of $180,000 per year on cellular wireless charges, plus additional savings from increased officer presence and reduced travel time to and from headquarters.


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