Auckland District Health Board rejected VoIP when it looked at IT for its new hospital in Grafton, Auckland, but the technology has matured enough since then for a trial to be conducted, DHB CIO Steven Mayo-Smith says.
"VoIP is becoming much more feasible and potentially has some good specific applications for us, such as paging for the emergency department.
"We already have wireless there."
The DHB is planning a VoIP trial "on a small scale," because "we want a controlled, limited pilot so we can evaluate the benefits."
VoIP was considered "too risky" when the DHB embarked on its $30 million IT programme for the new hospital last year, he says.
"Our job isn't to try the latest tool, it's to deliver reliable services."
The DHB has implemented most of the IT for the new hospital, but among the remaining projects is a $1 million PABX upgrade, planned for next year.
A "few extra miles" of network is also to be added, Mayo-Smith says, but the bulk is now complete.