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Ascom Unite: access anytime and anywhere

Ascom Unite is a powerful messaging suite that eliminates information overload by prioritising alarms, messages and calls, and relaying them to the correct individual or group
Delivering critical information to the right person at the right time is indeed challenging. In a hospital it can be a matter of life and death. Although this sounds easy, in practice, it is a huge everyday challenge. Enter Ascom Unite, a communication platform that ensures delivery of vital information to the appropriate person. The result is higher efficiency, a less stressful working environment for your staff and improved patient satisfaction. With the new addition of Ascom Unite Axess for Smartphones, this communication platform can now support iOS or Android smartphones.
Imagine the complex information flow in a hospital or within any similar institution. Lab equipment, nurse calls, patient monitoring equipment, clinical systems, ambulance staff, alarms –all communicating with a mixture of intrapersonal communication such as phone calls, data traffic and text messages. The vast amount of hospital communications is simply overwhelming. Some information is extremely urgent while other information does not require immediate attention. This is an enormous complexity of machines, human beings and any number of other sources, all contributing to a constantly flowing river of information.
Ascom Unite is a messaging suite that provides a way out of information overload. The system prioritises alarms, messages, calls, and alerts, subsequently distributing them to the right individual or group.
Even in your Smartphone
Hospital staff can access the system through several types of wireless device such as handsets, pagers, and even smartphones, which are growing wildly popular within many groups. Employees at different levels want to use smartphones, with all the advantages this can bring in terms of access to digital tools and information sources. In case the employer will not supply a smartphone, employees can simply bring their own devices and use them instead of the handsets provided by the employer. This has spawned the trend commonly described as BYOD – Bring your own Device – a phenomenon that currently poses new challenges for IT departments worldwide.
For this purpose, Ascom created Unite Axess for Smartphones; an application available for supporting both the iOS and Android platform, allowing the user to access the Ascom Unite system in the same manner as through a standard on-site IP-DECT or voWiFi (voice over Wifi) handset. This way, Unite Axess  for Smartphones lets physicians, mobile clinicians and other caregivers safely access messages, notifications, calls, and alarms at all times, even when they are not physically present at the hospital.
This solution will prove to be valuable to today’s employee who is already accustomed to being online at all hours, meaning that it can radically improve the working environment for healthcare providers and mobile clinicians. 
Powerful and smart
At the heart of the system is Ascom Unite, a suite of messaging that ties people together with a wide range of devices and sources of information. Data from numerous systems are coordinated, stored, logged, recorded, and distributed to mobile employees – as individuals or as groups.
“Thousands of hospitals around the world use this system”, says Tom McKearney, Director, Product Line Unite Solutions at Ascom Wireless Solutions. He describes Ascom Unite as ‘smart’ middleware. It may enhance both patient care and working conditions for hospital staff through intelligent integration with existing systems.
The integration works both ways, letting a user respond to the alert or message received, sometimes even solving the issue immediately. If the first user is unable to respond to the alert, it is passed on to the next user in line. The system can also be configured to send alerts when certain thresholds are met, rather than distributing every single message. Virtually any data source can be connected to Ascom Unite: patient monitoring equipment or lab systems. 
All information passing through the system is logged and stored. This information can come in handy when planning necessary resources or workflow at the institution.
Another situation where the logs can prove useful is in the case of litigation, where hospitals can retrospectively prove what happened in a particular situation. What information and what alerts where actually distributed, who responded to what and when? This information can prove valuable in examining situations after a critical event.
Alarm fatigue
Ascom Unite also provides a remedy for the phenomenon called alarm fatigue. Alarm fatigue may appear when the attention of employees is in such high demand that important elements go unnoticed due to a landslide of alerts, alarms and messages. The enormous flow of information can make it difficult to assess which tasks are most important.
A worst case scenario would be that employees stop paying attention to – or even turning off – their handheld device, thereby creating a potentially dangerous situation.
Ascom Unite deals with alarm fatigue by filtering and prioritisation, carefully selecting which information to send to whom. The system will only give relevant information to the correct person. And since it’s working untiringly with the same precision around the clock and regardless of the work load, there is less risk of human errors.
There are many benefits with a system like Ascom Unite: it supports staff in providing more prompt care; enables a better working environment for employees; and increases efficiency for hospitals, to name a few. Hospitals are also likely to achieve savings through better planning and even an increase in satisfaction among staff and patients.
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