Vendor Profile: EXTENSION looks to connect all the mHealth dots

By Eric Wicklund, Editor, mHIMSS
A healthcare setting has many different endpoints, and they don't always get along with each other. If a mobile device can't integrate with a patient's electronic medical record, critical – possibly life-saving – data could be lost or unnecessarily siloed. The results could prove fatal.

EXTENSION's goal is to connect as many of those endpoints as possible, allowing for an unhindered flow of information and establishing an effective clinical alerting and notification system. The Fort Wayne, Ind.-based company will be showing off its server-based messaging software platform and new mobile apps at this year's mHealth Summit.

"Our goal is to be endpoint-agnostic," says Jenny Kakasuleff, the company's public relations and marketing administrator. "How we connect our health information systems with smartphones and mobile devices determines how we can create meaningful alerts."

Aside from showing off the new EXTENSION Mobile clinical alerting app, the company will be participating in a session titled "Short-Term Strategies for Fragmentation: Overcoming Interoperability Challenges Today" from 11:15-12:15 p.m., Tuesday in National Harbor 13.

"The marriage of smartphones and enterprise phone systems is the most important aspect of selecting a mobile strategy to ensure success, and I am excited to share our lessons learned and experiences," said CEO Todd Plesko said in a recent press release. "Everyone is very excited about clinicians using smartphones for messaging and alerting. The reality is that there are places in hospitals where smartphones make sense and places where the corporate telephony system makes sense. We support both and unify them to deliver clinical alerts, secure and HIPAA-compliant non-SMS text messaging, and much more."

Kakasuleff says the company has been busy integrating its data aggregation and alerting and notification systems with a number of vendor products. Recent projects have incorporated the system into Polycom's wireless handset technology, Vocera devices (including the smartphone and communication badge), and Android operating devices.

Earlier this year, the company announced that Wayne Memorial Hospital in Goldsboro, N.C., has implemented the nurse call integration feature of the EXTENSION HealthAlert for Nurses solution. The solution aggregates data from several different systems into the hospital's new Cisco Collaboration platform, featuring Cisco 7925 handsets.

"We knew we needed a short-term communications solution for our staff and most of the products we considered could provide that, but EXTENSION provided so much more. We have improved our falls scores and patient satisfaction scores in part because our staff is able to respond quickly to patient needs," said Jeff Brogneaux, the hospital's clinical informaticist, in a press release.

Kakasuleff said the company has moved into mobile apps during the past year to accommodate hospitals and physicians who are making smartphones and mobile devices a regular part of the clinical workflow.

"Physicians are easily and quickly embracing these devices," she says. "So we're just adding other capabilities to them."

EXTENSION will be at Booth 431 on the Exhibit Hall floor.
 

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