Better communication is at the heart of helping York and Scarborough integrate more efficiently. In July 2012, York Teaching Hospitals and Scarborough and Bridlington hospitals merged under a single management structure. The new organisation now employs over 8,500 staff across 10 hospitals serving nearly half a million patients.
Integrating two well established trusts into a single, effective organisation that maintains its high quality and safe service standards is never a simple task.
Almost immediately the new trust recognised that it had to improve communications within the organisation , not least across the two main campuses (York and Scarborough), which most notably saw an understandable and significant increase in staff travel between both locations (situated some 40 miles apart). At its busiest (especially during the peak holiday period), it is not uncommon to have to spend upward of two hours to accomplish this trip.
Such journey times created many new concerns for the trust including; increasing immediate travel overheads and expenses, expending time ‘in transit’, as well as a clear risk of diminishing productivity and operational efficiency.
Finally, both York and Scarborough were using many disparate communications and conferencing platforms, creating a clear opportunity to rationalise and unify the collaboration strategy once and for all. A practical and rapid solution was needed to ensure that this transition period wasn’t extended any longer than necessary.
Block was asked by York to work quickly with the IT department to develop a strategy and solution that would meet the immediate collaboration and video needs, and which could also be easily deployed and extended fully across both locations.
As an existing Cisco Unified Communications user, the trust determined that the introduction of further Cisco TelePresence and document collaboration services would be the most effective and appropriate route, as its scalability and ease of integration were core to York’s original decision to adopt a Cisco solution.
The new TelePresence equipment was installed and commissioned at the Scarborough location to immediately enable both sites to start collaborating intelligently and driving down business overheads.
Document and informational collaboration is also an important aspect of the way that both locations operate, and through the use of Cisco’s dedicated presentation codec the trust also has the ability to share valuable presentation content to further enhance the collaborative experience.
Right from the outset of its commissioning the new High Definition TelePresence and collaboration solution has started to make a significant difference.
High Definition video with complementary presentation material is helping the Trust communicate and articulate far better than ever before without the need to travel. Clearer, more detailed responses within conferences ensure no loss of understanding or intention when discussing or sharing important information.
Fuel and travel costs have also been reduced, helping the Trust re-focus much needed expenditure to more urgent and necessary areas. Possibly more significant is the impact on staff time. Being able to reclaim large amounts of otherwise ‘wasted travel time’ has meant that staff have greater availability, driving better overall efficiencies, as well as maintaining a much higher degree of productivity.
Operational efficiency is also not the only gain either, the environmental impact is better, and the trust is quickly discovering more and more ways to drive better collaboration across the Trust and its staff.
Block’s understanding of how we operate as a Trust not only helped us quickly develop the right solution for our needs, but also helped avoid several unexpected pitfalls before they happened.Adrian Shakeshaft
Our new conferencing deployment has removed several cost and productivity issues that had quickly emerged since the merging of our two Trusts, enabling us to maintain the quality standards we adhere to.Adrian Shakeshaft