Parkview Health

2500+ Employees
Unified Communications

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Smart Technologies Empower Staff to Deliver Innovative Health Services with a Home-Like Touch

Fort Wayne, Indiana – More than 40 teams of hospital leadership and staff assisted in the design of patient care areas for Parkview Health’s new state-of-the-art Regional Medical Center. Their goal was to provide a home-like atmosphere for patients and families, and the best clinical advances available.

Parkview Health

Smart is one of the key words often used to describe the new facility, which opened on March 17, 2012. There are smart rooms, smart beds, and even robotic couriers that deliver supplies.

An Avaya Aura® communications platform is a critical element that helps smart technologies and human skills work together for outstanding patient care.


Paul Jones, Director of Technology Services for Parkview Health, explains, “The new facility is a 446-bed hospital with over a million square feet of space, which equates to about a quarter mile from one end of the building to the other.”

“Planning for such a large facility gave us the chance to consider developing a new model for communications that would take us into the future.” 

Paul Jones, Director of Technology Services, Parkview Health

Jones continues, “The most critical business issue was to create a level of communications among all our highly mobile caregivers that is so quick and efficient, it basically eliminates the frustration and downtime involved in trying to reach people and waiting for things to happen.”

Mobile devices were key to their plan because busy Parkview employees are rarely tied to a specific location. Jones believed that any medical workflow solution would need to incorporate smartphones, such as iPhone or Android devices, and an active directory so that appropriate individuals on duty could be located and contacted quickly.

Another important goal in the Parkview communications plan was to integrate data from monitoring devices into the network and then distribute alerts by either text or voice to the appropriate people. Jones and his team planned to link up medical devices, such as drug pumps, heart monitors, and even smart hospital beds to the communications network, providing medical staff access to real‑time biometrics.

On an enterprise basis, the Parkview team needed to develop its new PBX infrastructure according to a phased strategy, retaining current switches for a period of time and gradually extending the new technologies to all of its many locations. They planned to centralize call flows and maintain a consistent dial plan across a multivendor environment.


Parkview considered several vendors of unified communications solutions for the new medical center and a smaller facility being built at approximately the same time. Potential vendors included Avaya, Cisco, ShoreTel, and Microsoft. Jones’ overall assessment of many RFPs he received was that the total cost of ownership was too high, proprietary technology would lock Parkview into a walled-off solution, and/or the solution didn’t incorporate mobile devices in a meaningful way.

However, according to Jones, Avaya provided all of the features that Parkview wanted.

“We chose Avaya because the company strongly supports our vision that advanced mobile communications are key to providing outstanding health care and the best patient experience.” 

Paul Jones, Director of Technology Services, Parkview Health

“Avaya also met our other top criteria,” Jones recalls, “which include a flexible and scalable open standards platform and the industry’s most meaningful commitment to SIP [Session Initiation Protocol], which we believe is the leading technology going forward.”

Jones adds, “In developing plans for the new Regional Medical Center facility, we had an excellent relationship with Avaya and our local Avaya Connect partner. They really listened to our ideas, and they were as excited as we were about realizing our vision for the new medical center.”

The solution included Avaya Aura® Communication Manager, Avaya Aura® Session Manager, Avaya Mobile Activity Assistant, Avaya Conferencing Standard Edition, and Avaya Aura® Messaging. The Avaya mobility solution is integrated with the medical center’s Hill-Rom smart beds and other monitoring devices. A Connexall software solution serves as a mediation layer that detects and prioritizes actionable conditions and notifies the hospital staff member associated with the event. 

In addition to mobile phones, Parkview has purchased wired SIP phones—Avaya 9608 IP Deskphones, 9601 IP Deskphones, 9621 IP Deskphones, and 9641 IP Deskphones. With the first rollout of the Avaya system, Parkview expects that about 3000 SIP phones will be registered at any given time. When the rest of the main Parkview campus and other Parkview facilities are on the new network, Jones believes the number of SIP endpoints will soon reach about 4000. 

Cost Savings, Flexibility, and Scalability 

The Avaya Aura® communications platform supports Parkview’s existing switches and other vendors’ PBXs with unified dial plans and centralized voicemail. The transition has gone smoothly, enabling the rollout of new technologies on a phased basis.

“Budget-wise, it was valuable for us to move into state-of-the-art technologies without doing a complete overhaul of our infrastructure right away.” 

Paul Jones, Director of Technology Services, Parkview Health

Parkview Health

According to Jones, “The Avaya Aura® SIP connectivity gives us the flexibility to tie different solutions together and do more than just ring and tone. We can quickly move new applications into the centralized Aura® cloud for a unified user experience across all of Parkview Health’s facilities.”

Implementing SIP results in significant cost savings. Compared with connecting medical devices using specialized PRI hardware, SIP is a less expensive option. “The data shows that SIP saves us money when connecting to third-party solutions,” Jones emphasizes. “The older PRI trunk cards were costly and required telecom technicians to do the hookup. SIP is important to us going forward since it is much more flexible in terms of connecting medical equipment to the network.”

Improving Collaboration, Accelerating Work Flows

Shortly after the opening of its Regional Medical Center, Parkview deployed 200 iPhone devices loaded with Avaya’s new Mobile Activity Assistant software. A total of approximately 900 are being distributed throughout the Medical Center, covering most major departments, including nursing, OR, respiratory, medical imaging, cardiology, ER, and ICU. Doctors, executives, and other staff members who already have iPhone devices are able to install the software and continue to use their phones just as before.

The Mobile Activity Assistant functionality is referred to as Mobile Manager at the medical center. It helps staff members improve collaboration and accelerate work flow through “closed-loop” communications that help support HIPAA compliance, consolidating nurse call alerts, critical result notifications, stat requests, and co-worker messages onto one application on a mobile device.

Users see co-workers’ availability via presence and are able to contact them via voice or text. Co-workers can respond to text messages by touching the message and launching a phone call. Preconfigured text messages can be used to speed responses. All messages are logged for audit purposes.

“Avaya’s Mobile Activity Assistant has solved our greatest communications problem, which is the large number of hops people typically had to make trying reach someone or something that’s needed,” Jones says. “Now with Avaya’s Mobile Activity Assistant, people can be reached much more quickly, and actions can be prompted almost instantaneously, either through voice or the preconfigured text messages. Nurses and physicians connect without excessive phone tag; services can be ordered at the touch of a finger; critical biometrics and other information are communicated instantaneously. Nurses can even be signaled and communicate with patients through a device built into the Hill-Rom smart bed.”

“The amount of time that’s saved can’t be tracked precisely, but we believe it’s very significant, and the benefit to patient care is outstanding.” Jones summarizes, “Nurses and other healthcare providers can spend more time with the patient at the bedside, which enhances the patient experience tremendously. While away from a patient, a nurse can be alerted to potentially dangerous situations, such as a guardrail on a patient bed being down.”

“When the nurses told us that they couldn’t imagine doing their jobs without their Avaya Mobile Managers, we knew we had been successful!” 

Paul Jones, Director of Technology Services, Parkview Health

Parkview Health
Parkview Health
  • Headquarters:

  • United States

  • # Employees:

  • 7500

Parkview Health is a not-for-profit, community-based health system that serves northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio. Parkview is home to the region’s first Verified Level II Adult and Pediatric Trauma Centers. Additional services include the Samaritan Flight Program, Parkview Heart Institute, Parkview Ortho Hospital, a Certified Stroke Center, Women’s & Children’s Hospital, Outpatient Center, and Comprehensive Cancer Center. As one of the area’s largest employers with 7,500 full and part-time employees, Parkview’s mission is to provide quality health services and improve the health of the communities it serves. More information on Parkview Health can be found at

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“When the nurses told us that they couldn’t imagine doing their jobs without their Avaya Mobile Managers, we knew we had been successful!”

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