Information technology  

AP-HP hospitals order Symbol mobile devices for bedside food ordering

9 August 2006

Paris, France. Symbol Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: SBL) and its partner Solutys have been chosen by AP-HP, Ile-de-France's university and regional hospital centre, to supply a mobile solution to manage the order entry of patients' meal trays. Symbol's Pocket PC PPT8800 and MC50 mobile devices will replace existing devices in almost 40 of AP-HP's hospital locations with a view to improving patient service. All locations will be rolled out with the new solution in 2006.

AP-HP, which groups together 38 healthcare establishments, invited tenders in 2004 to implement robust and reliable technology for taking meal orders at patients' bedsides. The solution had to adapt to the patient's specific requirements, tastes and pathology, as well as automatically send the information to the kitchen to enable them to plan, order and prepare the meals. In addition, data traceability from the menus was essential. The solution proposed by Solutys, based on Symbol's PPT8800 and MC50 mobile devices, met these needs and was chosen in October 2005. It will integrate order entry applications from Agfa Healthcare and Winrest.

Within the framework of its call for tenders, AP-HP wanted to ensure the longevity of the mobile devices in order to provide its users with a long-term solution. Moreover, given the difficult and intensive conditions under which the devices would be used, they had to be rugged in order to withstand numerous drops. To be certain of having a solid solution that would fulfill all the requirements of the hospital, AP-HP also added specific requests to its call for tenders. These included the provision of a disinfectable protective cover to meet the hygiene conditions inherent in a hospital environment, a stylus attached by a lead to the device to prevent it from being lost, and a strap so that the terminal could be carried securely across the chest.

The devices had to be agreed upon by the business but also by the users. A working group made up of dieticians, IT specialists and healthcare staff was set up to define the ideal solution. After analysing the needs and technical constraints, the devices had, most importantly, to be able to connect seamlessly to the network, to integrate into AP-HP's existing system environment, to incorporate a barcode reader and be compatible with the meal order entry applications. Solutys and Symbol's solution best met AP-HP's needs in terms of reliability, performance and cost.

Each AP-HP location is able to choose between Symbol's PPT8800 or MC50 mobile devices to meet their own specific requirements. The devices chosen will be integrated with Agfa Healthcare and Winrest order entry software. Both devices are sturdy, ergonomic and small in size, and are able to operate in batch mode and Wi-Fi allowing them to adapt to the infrastructure already in place. They both include a barcode reader for scanning the patient's details in order to identify them in real-time.

"Symbol's MC50 and PPT8800 mobile devices represent a reliable, rugged and comprehensive solution for users working in challenging environments," states Nicolas Segons, country manager for Symbol Technologies France. "This deployment within AP-HP is a perfect example of how healthcare establishments can benefit from mobile technologies, enhance traceability and improve their performance."

In the future, Symbol mobile devices will be used for other applications, such as pharmacy management, acceptance merchandise, medicine prescriptions, inventory management and monitoring laboratory analyses.

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