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  1. #1
    Registered User Sundevil's Avatar
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    Advice on implementing a Company Wide Solution

    I am looking to implement a communications solution for the senior management team and doctors at a medical center in NYC. I need full connectivity so appointments, contacts update on devices and emails are pushed Immediately We currently use and will continue to use Verizon, our email is outlook based on an older exchange server (Will upgrade to the latest exchange server as necessary). We are a mixed group of people as far as technology needs go; so I expect to use a combination Blackberries and XV6600s.

    I am wondering if anyone has had experience implementing a mixed client environment and what application was used to push email? Any major pitfalls? Can Wireless Sync, RIM, Good co-exist on the same server?
    Does anyone have a good Verizon rep that can assist and advise on this implementation?

    I am current I700 user and follow this forum very regularly and look forward to upgrading to XV6600 or I730 if it becomes available.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated,
    Neil

  2. #2
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    I don't know of any single solution that will work with PPC and Blackberries, though I suppose you could run multiple products to support the various clients. You may run into issues running them all on the same box, just becuase they may all want to use the same ports (for SMTP, HTTP, etc...). Keep in mind, that there may be some slight differences in functionality due to this as well (ie - good allows centralized device management, while Exchange ActiveSync doesn't). The i730 will supposedly have a Blackberry client, though, so you may want to keep that in mind.

    One thing you may wish to clarify is if these devices are expected to connect over the carrier network or a WAN? (I thought you were supposed to turn off cell phones in hospitals?). I'm assuming since you mentioned the xv6600 it is the carrier's network you're planning on using.

    Are there any other applications that you'll need to support, besides the standard PIM functions?
    -Lee
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  3. #3
    Fisher of Men mwfielder's Avatar
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    I'm a doc and not an IT guy, but I'll chime in. JP does IT stuff for docs, so I'm sure he'll have a great deal of info for you.

    Many docs use pocketpcs or palms for medical software/programs for information, charting, coding, etc... Like most people here, I went to a converged device so that I wouldn't have to carry around so many devices. I would lean towards the 6600 w/ wireless sync to give the ability to have software on the device. Your hospital may want to give the docs some software to streamline billing as well.

    Turning off cell phones in the hospital is probably an overprecaution--only issue may be on telemetry wards, but that is a stretch. I've never actually heard of an issue, and I think JP can agree with that.
    Jeremiah 29:11

  4. #4
    Registered User Sundevil's Avatar
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    I appreciate your help.

    I think the no cell phone policy in hospitals is similar to airplanes; they don't really mess anything up people use it as any excuse to force patients to pay for the rental phone in the hospital. In addition patients should not be subject to loud obnoxious cell phone conversions anyway.

    The really point is I’m at a primary care center and we don’t have a ban on cell phones so I would like to use the Verizon network. I am not necessarily looking to support any specific applications now but understand the benefits of a PPC for power users and the ability to for doctors to access electronic medical records and other medical databases in the future. I also think that a PPC is too much for some of the senior management and a Blackberry would be easier to train them on and support.

    One of my main concerns was have RIM software and Wireless Sync on the same server. But if the I730 has RIM software shouldn’t it be available for purchase any PPC running 2003 SE?

  5. #5
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    Solutions

    You have no real option to have a server the intigrates both BB Server and PPC Server side.

    For the BB your option is the BB Enterprise Server.

    For PPC use either Mobile Options/ActivSync for Exchange 2003 or look at Good Software for thier good server.

    The Good server is approximatly $1600.00 for 5 devices.

    We are supporting a BB Server and Exchange 2003 with PPC's and Palm devices. We look at the Good Software option and it is a great solution but thier license is by device PER YEAR!

  6. #6
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    "But if the I730 has RIM software shouldn’t it be available for purchase any PPC running 2003 SE?"

    You would think, but I couldn't find any mention of a PPC client anywhere on thier website. However, the pics of the i730 with the spec sheet next to it clearly state "Blackberry Support". I don't know how this will work out.
    -Lee
    Samsung i730
    Ridata 1GB SD Card, Transcend 4GB SD card, PPC Tech Audio Adapter

  7. #7
    Registered User Sundevil's Avatar
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    Thanks Earthdog great advice.
    Good Server seems expensive, compared to Verizon's free software.

    So just to confirm BB Server and Wireless Sync can work together on an Exchange server?

    Any idea on RIM software designed for PPC client?
    I searched and did not find anything significant.

  8. #8
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    this conversation has been happening alot throughout my university and this is how i see it from an exchanged enterprise environment...

    everything starts from an exchange server. even the bb server connects to the exchange server to read/update info. so what we've done is have an exchange 2003 solution (1 or more machines) and a seperate bb server. exchange 2003 has built-in "push" technology for PPC and then people with bb's get their pushes from the bb server.

    now this part im not that sure about as i have no personal experience but from what i understand the TREO 650 uses built in ms activesync for syncing data and from what i've read exchange can push natively to the TREO 650 just like the PPC. If as foretold by palms latest device, the TREO 650, they are going to start including ms activesync on all their phones then you will not need anything else in the future.

    as far as devices, we give bb to the less techy ppl and give the ppc to our geeks.

    so to recap all you really need to have a cross platform solution is exchange 2003 and a bb server.

  9. #9
    Registered User jpmihalk's Avatar
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    Good gravy!

    First, RIM Blackberry requires a second server be set up in addition to your Exchange server. There are no clients out YET for the XV6600 or i700 or whatever on the PPC side.

    Second, push e-mail is overrated. If you are interested in pushing messages to the clinicians, you may want to investigate just sending SMS messages as opposed to e-mails. As far as e-mail, appointments, tasks, etc. they can be synched using ActiveSync over the VzW network (if you have EVDO, the XV6600 would rock and sync pretty quick compared to the i700) or if you really wanted some enhanced capabilities, use Intellisync for scheduled syncs.

    The cell phone policies that prohibit cell phone use have been found to be more social than technological in nature. There are no known incidents of interference causing any major healthcare equipment to cease functioning or change dosages or result in any patient harm. What you may need to do is sit down with a corporate VzW rep and find out about coverage guarantees for inside the buildings as VzW signal does not generally penetrate hospitals or radiology settings very well at all.

    Lastly, I wouldn't want to support multiple devices (as an IT guy.) I would recommend finding the minimum requirements and selecting the device that can deliver them. We have implemented many web-based clinical systems and they are much easier for us to maintain because 1 - the data never resides on the handheld (good for HIPAA,) 2 - all changes can be made to one location, there are no clients to update, 3 - users can get to them via the internet using any computer (handheld, desktop, laptop, tablet, etc.) and any method of wireless access (WiFi, EVDO, GPRS, etc.)

    That pretty much rules out Blackberry for us (we are GroupWise for e-mail and calendaring.)

    Just some thoughts to throw out there. We have been working on similar projects for quite some time.
    John

  10. #10
    Registered User Sundevil's Avatar
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    I appreciate all the great advice. I am in a primary care center in lower Manhattan, not an actual hospital so VZW coverage is very strong in my area and we don't have any restrictions on use of phones. As much as push email is over hyped in the case of an emergency it is extremely useful and it is important not to have character limits.

    I would rather support two devices than give someone a PPC doesn't have an interest in using it. Blackberries are much easier to use for nontech person.

  11. #11
    Registered User jpmihalk's Avatar
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    The only other suggestion I'd make about using e-mail is that it is unsecure by definition. You could certainly use it to provide links to secure web sites that have clinical data, but I'd be very careful about sending any clinical data in an e-mail.
    John

  12. #12
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    "As much as push email is over hyped in the case of an emergency it is extremely useful and it is important not to have character limits."

    What's the name of your facility? I live in the NYC area, and if ever there was an emergency, I don't want to be anywhere near any medical facility that would rely on an email getting through as part of the planned response to that emergency.



    -Lee
    -Lee
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    Ridata 1GB SD Card, Transcend 4GB SD card, PPC Tech Audio Adapter

  13. #13
    LTS
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    We are currently implementing a similar system at the hospital here. We are relying solely on Exchange ActiveSync and it has performed admirably. There have been no problems for our doctors, including our chair who travels all over the country.

    The client connects via HTTPS and is as secure as any other HTTPS traffic could be. The information from the backend Exchange 2003 server to the front-end is also encrypted so that sniffing is more difficult.

    We are now looking for a WiFi VOIP system for inter hospital communications/paging via the devices. We'll see how that goes.

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