Belfast Health Trust Unifies Communications, Speeds Up Clinical Decision Making

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Belfast Health and Social Care Trust operates in Northern Ireland through a network of six organizations and more than 100 physical locations with an annual budget of about £1 billion (US$1.5 billion) and a staff of around 20,000. It wanted to replace its previous system with a unified communications system that would make it easier for doctors, nurses, and administrators to access information and communicate effectively regardless of location.

For its new unified communications solution, Belfast Trust selected Microsoft Lync Server 2010. An important factor in its choice was that its staff was already familiar with Council member Microsoft’s user interface. Integration was also a key concern. Lync Server 2010 includes a range of communication services that are already integrated, which meant that Belfast Trust would not need to add on those services, at either an extra cost or effort. “We were happy with the built-in integration from the very beginning,” says Paul Duffy, Chief Information Officer at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

Moving to the new system at Belfast Trust has reduced communication costs and increased the speed of clinical decision making. Clinicians can use the Microsoft Lync 2010 client to send instant messages, initiate on-demand videoconferencing, and share their desktops so that they can view the same clinical information or patient record no matter their location.