A new audio system under control of the Q-Sys Integrated System Platform has been installed at the Ospedale Martini hospital in Turin, Italy as part of an upgrade to its communications network, courtesy of the exclusive QSC distributor in the region, AudioLink. Based around a Core 1000 processor, the Q-Sys platform controls the call and paging systems, routing audio to twin CX204V and CX302V amplifiers, as well as AcousticDesign surface-mount and in-ceiling loudspeakers strategically placed around the hospital.
Like any other busy city-center hospital, the Ospedale Martini relies on its public address system to page urgently needed staff and relay important information to patients. But with multiple departments spread throughout the building, the hospital’s requirements amount to much more than a single public address channel. They need the means to direct messages from anywhere, to anywhere, targeting specified parts of the building only. Just as important, they need a system that can easily be used by any member of staff.
When the hospital decided to upgrade the communications network in three departments – the general admissions and outpatients wing, the medical specialties wing and the pediatric first aid unit – the contract, assigned through a public bid, went to AudioLink. The brief, specified by the hospital’s chief of telecommunications, Mr Silvano Nieddu, called for a complex voice call system comprising a total of 43 individual call stations, each one allowing the user to route their message to any specified zone of the hospital at the push of a button. AudioLink immediately knew that Q-Sys would provide the ideal solution.
The greatest strengths of the Q-Sys platform are its sheer flexibility and ease of use. Using the processing power of a single Q-Sys Core 1000 unit, AudioLink were able to design a call system tailored exactly to the hospital’s needs, using a combination of PS-1600 Networked Page Stations and their own custom-made hardware. Page station microphones input audio into the Q-Sys audio chain, while the buttons on the page stations select the desired call zone. These logic functions are easily programmed via Q-Sys Designer software.
With far more capability than simple audio routing, the system can be designed with a host of other features, like a visual indicator when a particular call zone is busy, call queuing, priority for emergency calls to interrupt non-emergency calls, as well as the scheduled transmission of pre-recorded messages and much more.
To broadcast these messages in eight specified zones across the three departments, AudioLink installed a total of 38 wall-mounted AD-S52T compact loudspeakers and a further six AD-CI52T in-ceiling speakers, guaranteeing clear, intelligible speech reproduction while taking up minimal space.
Q-Sys plays a further role in helping the Ospedale Martini treat its patients. Using the Q-Sys Designer software, AudioLink were able to seamlessly integrate the Ospedale Martini’s automated patient queuing system with the public address network. Upon arrival at general admissions, each patient receives a numbered ticket. When a new number is called, the system automatically triggers the relevant pre-recorded message to alert the patient.
Other custom designed features built into the system at the request of the Ospedale Martini’s telecommunications chief include a bespoke computer interface to control audio levels throughout the hospital, remote control of DVD players delivering information to patients via a LAN to IR interface, and the ability to remotely switch off all the information display screens to save energy, either manually or at scheduled times.
Commenting on the completed installation, Stefano Cantadori of AudioLink remarked: “The client specifications for this project were very logical and precise. They clearly identified the problem they wanted to solve, and they knew what they needed to resolve it, in outline terms. For us, it was then a matter of finding the most effective and simple solution, while bearing in mind flexibility and scalability over time. The system also had to be easy to use, accessible and robust.
“Q-Sys with CX amplifiers fits all these requirements. With the expert aid of our specialist Giammario Piumatti, the system was designed and computer-modeled, then checked with Mr Nieddu and his team. This meant there were no surprises of any kind when the actual hardware and software was eventually installed.”