Belfast Health and Social Care Trust employs about 20,000 staff members at more than 100 physical locations, with an annual budget of about £1 billion. Together, its staff serve about 340,000 Belfast citizens, but also provide district services throughout Northern Ireland. Local organisations must be flexible and adaptable to effectively provide services and engage citizens. The larger an organisation is, the more important communication becomes – and the more difficult it invariably is. To continue to provide quality care, the trust needed to transform its approach to communication.
Belfast Health and Social Care Trust wanted to replace its existing communications infrastructure with something fully integrated, flexible and cost-effective. The trust opted for Lync 2010, in part because staff were familiar with the interface of other Microsoft Office products, which made adoption easier. But once the new system was in place, the trust found a host of new benefits.
Additional communication tools: 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.
Faster collaboration: The videoconferencing feature of Lync is important to Belfast Health and Social Care Trust because it enables real-time, face-to-face communication between healthcare providers wherever they are located. Access to on-demand communication has eliminated the need to meet in person, avoiding many scheduling challenges.
Lower costs: Belfast Health and Social Care Trust predicts organisation-wide savings of £1 million over the life of the contract. Lync allows the trust to maximise existing cabling infrastructure, reduce bearer circuits, trim maintenance costs and reduce the time needed to make a clinical decision with input from co-workers.