Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Registration is open for the July installment of VCIG Live!- Improving the End User Experience

Date: Thursday, July 18th, 2013 - 1:00 PM ET
Topic: Improving the End User Experience
Register: Click here to register for this event


Theo Economides
Greenline Emeritus Consulting, Lecturer & Consultant

Dr. Tamela Smith
Western Kentucky University, Manager, Interactive Video Services

Karl Hantho
Videxio, President Americas

JD Vaughn
Host - Vidtel, VP of Sales and former talk show host
Description: This interactive session will focus on how we, as internal and external service providers, can improve the End User Experience from both the on-site and back-end processes when using videoconferencing and other collaborative tools. Please join our experienced panelists who have invested a significant piece of their careers to focus on this topic.
This VCIG Live! event is
sponsored and hosted by:
Cisco Webex

VCI-Group's June Distant Learning SIG June 27th.

Register now for the June Distance Learning SIG meeting which features a guest speaker and a Q&A session with Ben Fineman, from Internet2. Ben will discuss the role that video plays in unified communications within education as well as other initiatives related to Internet2.

Date: Thursday, June 27th, 2013 - 1:00 PM-2:00 PM ET
Register: Click here to register 

Julie Best
Communications Director for the Idaho Education Network, a statewide network that provides broadband and video teleconference systems in Idaho.

About Ben Fineman -  Ben is the Program Manager for Internet2's Video Services, which offers interoperable dialing and bridging for H.323/SIP/TIP and other advanced collaboration technologies and serves as a knowledge hub for real-time collaboration technologies in the research and education community. Ben holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan and a Master's degree in Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University.

For more information on how to join VCI-Group, visit our website at VCI-Group.org.
Visual Communications Industry Group    

(800) 784-4636
(952) 928-4665 (outside North America)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Health Special Interest Group

Health Special Interest Group
Date: Thursday, June 13th, 2013 - 1:00-2:00PM ET
Register: Click here to register for this event

Chris DiFiglia
Senior Telecom Video Engineer – North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System

Description: The Healthcare SIG will be a fast-paced lively interactive roundtable discussion with your healthcare VCI-G colleagues. We will discuss the common, and not so common, visual communication issues we have in each of our healthcare facilities. You will have a chance to learn from your peers as well as share your solutions and best practices. So bring your problems and solutions and let's spend this time networking and learning from each other.
Healthcare SIG suggested topics
How do HIPPA compliance regulations affect your rollout of video technology?
What innovative collaboration applications have you rolled out or are planning/considering?
How are you handling BYOD policies?
What are you doing to engage medical practitioners to embrace collaboration technologies?
What are some of the challenges you’ve encountered in trying to get buy-in on new collaboration technologies?
What are some of your success stories?
How have the patients reacted to video technology?
Is UC important as part of a conferencing/collaboration strategy
Are there any specific medical departments who are more interested in conferencing /collaboration than others

Monday, June 10, 2013

VCI-Group MEMBER SPOTLIGHT, Pamela Davis, Marquette General Hospital System

VCI-Group MEMBER SPOTLIGHT, Pamela Davis, Marquette General Hospital System

Pamela Davis
System Analyst
Information Technology Dept.
Marquette General Health System
(906) 225-3018

Burton:  Please provide an overview of Marquette General Health System (locations, services provided, capacity, specialties, etc.).

Davis:  Marquette General Health System (MGHS) is located in the upper peninsula of Michigan in Marquette, MI.  MGHS is a 315 bed Hospital and a Level II Trauma Center, and has been named by Thomson Reuters as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospital, has earned the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers, and Blue Distinction for Spine Surgery from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.  Our medical staff of more than 200 doctors work as a team with our 2,400 employees in caring for approximately 12,000 inpatients and more than 350,000 outpatients a year.

As a 315-bed specialty care hospital, Marquette General receives patients from throughout Upper Michigan, and provides care in 65 specialties and subspecialties.  Some of the specialties at MGHS are: Bariatric & Metabolic, Behavioral Health, Brain & Spine Center, Cancer Center, Heart and Vascular, Home Health & Hospice, Imaging Services, Infusion Services, Laboratory Services, Rehabilitation Center, Wellness Center, Surgical Services, Volunteer Services, Weight Loss Center Women’s & Children’s, Neonatal Intensive Care and ICU.  There are 12 satellite clinics in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

MGHS is also home to the Upper Peninsula Telehealth Network (UPTN), Michigan's most extensive telehealth network providing core services in clinical telemedicine, professional education and administrative meetings to residents of the Upper Peninsula and Northern Great Lakes Region.  UPTN provides core services in professional education, the medium for clinical consultations, the medium for administrative meetings, community education and video conferencing services for community groups/businesses. Teleradiology and telepathology in the region was initiated as part of the UPTN, and leadership now resides within the imaging and information technology sectors of MGHS.

Burton:  What are some of the technologies (endpoints, infrastructure, managed services) that MGHS is currently using for delivery of healthcare services, healthcare administration, continuing medical education, etc.?

Davis:  MGHS has a Polycom MGC (bridge), Polycom RMX (bridge), Polycom DMA, Polycom Resource Manager, VBP’s and Polycom HDX 8000’s, HDX 7000’s, VSX 7000’s and PVX software.  MGHS provides telemedicine services, medical case conferences, administrative meetings and educational events.  We utilize video conference technologies to facilitate medical consultation, to educate health care practitioners, to education communities on health care issues, and to increase efficiencies through remote administrative meetings.

Burton:  What are some current MGHS projects that incorporate visual communications equipment/services?
Davis:  MGHS is currently using video conferencing for telemedicine for psychiatric, pediatric, neurology, hematology/oncology, infectious disease, internal medicine, NICU, weight management, orthopedic, court hearings, dietician and specialty clinics.

MGHS is also planning to use video conferencing equipment for a new tele-stroke program, as well as interpreter services.

Burton:  What are some recent healthcare successes you’ve experienced using videoconferencing technology?

Davis:  MGHS has experienced numerous successes using video conferencing equipment for education, patient consults and other services.

Some of the project successes include:
·        The multi system clinic in partnership with Michigan State University Hematology Oncology for the bleeding disorder clinic
·        Interpreter services for language barriers and sign language
·        Tumor board reviews difficult cases with a variety of doctors at varying locations/offices
·        Neonatal Intensive Care bonding(s) with mom’s at another hospital
·        Nursing home patient from Newberry, MI that has access to the Infectious Disease doctors when she is in a state that would make travel extremely difficult
·        A recent bariatric patient only had to travel four miles to Baraga County Memorial Hospital, versus 68 miles to Marquette General Hospital, to have her six-month post-operative appointment with Marquette General Bariatric Surgeon, Dr. Wayne English.

Burton:  What are some of the biggest challenges that MGHS has faced in implementing videoconferencing and other technologies for telemedicine, etc.?

Davis:  Some of the biggest challenges faced by MGHS in the implementation of technology includes budgeting for training and keeping equipment up to date.  The UPTN had been fortunate to receive several federal and state grants to develop and expand the telehealth network to meet the growing needs of health care in our region. Without this financial assistance, the small health care facilities would not have been able to justify the start-up costs that were required at the time of deployment. Now the network sustainability has been achieved through site independence, infrastructure collaboration with the regional health information network, membership fees, and fee-for-service opportunities available to non-network organizations.

Burton:   If you could send a message to vendors about products, services, interoperability, etc., what would it be?  Is there anything you would like to see changed or offered in the future?

Davis:  Using companies that make standards-based equipment that are interoperable with other systems is a large part of our success as well as maintaining service contracts on equipment and keeping them updated with the latest software versions available.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

June 2013 VCI-Group President’s Message

June 2013 VCI-Group President’s Message

By now you would have received several messages from us regarding the upcoming conference.  This year we will not be conducting a conference in October as we have in the past, due to the increasing cost of these events.

Throughout this year we have been communicating that we are in the process of transforming the organization and our focus has been on providing you with quality, relevant educational sessions inexpensively.  Last week’s VCI-Group Newsletter referenced a couple of webinars that we are hosting; as well as, the focus of our Distance Learning and HealthCare SIGs (Special Interest Groups).  Likewise if you visit the Events section of our website; http://www.vci-group.org/events/industry-events.aspx you will see what other conferences and webinars are available to you throughout the industry and what VCI-Group discounts are available.

We are in negotiations with several other organizations that host conferences and may be doing a partnership with one or two of them in the near future.  We are also working with some of the large manufacturers in the industry to see about hosting an event in some of the large metropolitan cities throughout the country; and, potentially doing a virtual meeting.

We understand that one of the benefits of being a VCI-Group member is the networking and “catch up” we do annually with our peers throughout the world, country and industry.
In the meantime, please take advantage of meeting virtually, through social media and at the various educational events that we will be conducting throughout the year.  We especially want to encourage you participate in our Special Interest Groups and listserv conversations that enable direct interaction with your peers on issues that matter to you.  One of the benefits of being a VCI-Group member is that you are never alone.
Toni Alonso
President, VCI-Group