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GetWellNetwork Expands Foreign Language Support for the PatientLife System
Date:10/10/2007

Enables Hospitals to Meet Bed-Side Demands of Non-English Speaking Patients

and Families

BETHESDA, Md., Oct. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- GetWellNetwork, Inc., a leading provider of Interactive Patient Care (IPC) solutions, today announced the availability of Spanish and Arabic language packs compatible with the company's PatientLife System(R). With this release, GetWellNetwork sets a new industry standard for delivering excellence in multilingual IPC solutions.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071010/NEW023 )

The GetWellNetwork(R) system empowers patients and families by placing them at the center of their own care experience. The PatientLife System turns the television in the patient room into an interactive resource during a hospital stay. By using a wireless keyboard, touch screen or other handheld devices, patients interact with the system to access valuable education, communication and entertainment tools.

With one or more language packs activated, the PatientLife System now permits a culturally tailored online experience for non-English speaking patients. The platform uses the Unicode Standard, which allows the system to display in virtually any language. This architecture also enables GetWellNetwork to expand the number of language packs offered with relative ease and fast time to market.

"The demand for true foreign language support has been tremendous. GetWellNetwork is very pleased to provide this critical functionality to our client hospitals and in turn to their patients," said Michael O'Neil, Jr., founder and CEO of GetWellNetwork, Inc. "When creating a patient-centered care environment, there are few things more important than communicating with a patient in their preferred language. Our investment in developing foreign language support is directly linked to our commitment to help hospitals deliver a personalized experience to every patient."

A GetWellNetwork language pack includes all of the base content that is available with the system, including menu items and patient alerts as well as embedded third-party content items that are available in the language. GetWellNetwork also offers professional services to assist clients with translating any custom content that they have created into Spanish and/or Arabic in order to complete the patient experience available through the system.

"The community demographics surrounding St. Joseph Mercy Oakland are very diverse with the highest concentration of Hispanic/Latinos in the Detroit Metropolitan area," said Barbara Hertzler, Chief Operations Officer of St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, Michigan. "By deploying the Arabic and Spanish language packs of the GetWellNetwork system, we are now able to directly connect with a greater percentage of our patients right from the start of their hospital stay, providing them with an experience that is more relevant and valuable to them as individuals."

Hospitals Must Respond to Non-English Speaking Population Increase

According to the latest U.S. Census figures, nearly one in five people, or 47 million U.S. residents ages five and older, speak a language other than English at home. This figure is up from 15 million people in 1990. In addition, research conducted by the Society of General Internal Medicine indicates that very little is known about the health status and health care of people in the U.S. who do not speak English well.

Hospitals face a daunting challenge of providing in-language support to their patient populations, including federal laws that ensure equal medical treatment for all patients regardless of their English proficiency. In response, many hospitals have expanded their staffs of professional interpreters and added interpreter training. Nationwide, 15 percent of health care practitioners seek external interpreting services to talk to Spanish- speaking patients, according to reports by Hablamos Juntos, an organization dedicated to improving communication between Hispanic patients and their doctors. In addition, hospitals rely on staff members that have not been trained as interpreters or a patient's friend or family member to overcome the language barrier.

"The burgeoning non-English-speaking population in the U.S. is putting significant pressure on hospitals to provide multi-lingual support and service," said Christine Chang, associate analyst of Healthcare IT at Datamonitor. "The introduction of language packs for the GetWellNetwork PatientLife System offers hospitals a way to efficiently respond to the challenges of communicating with their diverse set of patients while increasing quality of care and improving outcomes."

About GetWellNetwork, Inc.

GetWellNetwork, Inc. is a leading provider of Interactive Patient Care (IPC) solutions. In partnership with more than 50 thought leading hospitals and healthcare systems, the company delivers innovative technology and services to drive optimal patient outcomes. Empowering patients as active participants in the healthcare process, IPC solutions are patient-centric applications delivered at the point-of-care to ensure the completion of service and quality requirements, while driving new revenue opportunities and operational efficiencies for healthcare providers. GetWellNetwork and its clients have been widely acknowledged by the healthcare community. In 2007, the GetWellNetwork solution received the exclusive endorsement of the American Hospital Association (AHA). GetWellNetwork, Inc. headquarters are in Bethesda, Maryland. For more information, please call 877.MEET.GWN or visit http://www.getwellnetwork.com.

Contact:

John Plunkett

240.482.3134

jplunkett@getwellnetwork.com

Pauline Louie

781.684.0770

getwellnetwork@schwartz-pr.com


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SOURCE GetWellNetwork, Inc.
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