FiveP, Qtec and Utilitise IT bring Teams to COVID-19-battling hospital

FiveP, QTec and Utilitise IT have come together to bring Microsoft Teams to a Melbourne hospital on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic effort.

The trio worked together to bring the vendor’s collaboration software to 8,500 healthcare staff at Austin Hospital, helping them maintain strict social distancing during the crisis.

Originally planning the Teams deployment over six months, the hospital tapped Melbourne-based unified communications specialist Qtec Systems to install Microsoft Teams-ready devices in 14 rooms over three weeks.

The Melbourne company deployed Microsoft Teams to the city’s Austin Hospital in a matter of two weeks, bringing its own smart governance app Teams Navigator to the mix.

Thrown into the mix was FiveP’s compliance app, Teams Navigator, which was rolled out to 100 clinical and executive managers. Meanwhile, Utilitise IT supported Austin Health in building their new Windows 10 managed operating environment, including support and advice about use of system centre configuration manager (SCCM).

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the hospital already had Office 365 in place, and was intending to roll out Teams, plus more health data analytics capabilities.

The Teams project was however accelerated in response to the pandemic and the need to impose stricter social distancing measures in the hospital.

In particular, the hospital wanted to hold virtual meetings while maintaining physical separation.

These would allow medical staff to share specialist medical content such as imaging, x-rays or pathology slides during a virtual meeting, or reports and spreadsheets.

According to Alan Pritchard, Austin Health’s director of electronic medical record and ICT services, the tool’s usage spiked at  550, 1,000 telephone calls and 16,000 chats in one day.

 “Those chats are secure and filed away in our tenant,” he added. “All of the people using Teams can chat or phone any of the others, and they don’t need to know their mobile phone number or their desk phone or where they are or anything — they just push the button and connect. 

“Those two things sound really simple, but if you go back to what communication in a large complex hospital was like previously that is a massive enabler, especially in a highly dynamic situation such as the one we’re in right now.”