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For the past ten years, nearly everyone involved in the communications industry has heard the buzz about the next wave in emergency response, referred to colloquially as ‘Next Gen 911’, but beyond a catchy name and weighty reputation, what exactly does this service upgrade entail?

Well, the best way to think about it is as a brand new, significantly larger, information infrastructure. Whereas the current system allows for communication with emergency response experts via telephone only, Next Gen 911 is an adaptation of the same model, but designed to accommodate modern communication devices. Emergency operators will soon be able to process text messages, videos, pictures, and even data files which have been sent from the general public.
This not only allows for greater access to emergency response, it also allows the operators themselves to develop a clearer understanding of each emergency situation. This will help them properly allocate both resources and personnel, as well as allowing operators to provide more accurate instructions to the person who contacted them. Simply put, it is a system that will make the process of saving lives more efficient and more effective by allowing for the greatest possible communication between those on the ground and those who are able to help.

Originally developed and proposed in 2000, the new system officially achieved proof of concept in 2008, and has been closing in on full implementation for several months now. With it being such a large scale and obviously important operation, the logistics of bringing Next Gen 911 to reality across North America have demanded a lengthy and inclusive testing phase, but now that it has reached the point of implementation, the excitement around this life-saving technology is beginning to build quickly.

With beneficial applications that are still revealing themselves to this day (including better access to emergency response for the hearing impaired and the ability communicate to oncoming traffic that an accident has occurred ahead), Next Gen 911 infrastructure has proven itself to be the next step in emergency response technology, capable of cutting costs, reducing inefficiencies, and most importantly, saving lives.

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As technology continues to advance at a breakneck pace, more and more experts in the field of healthcare have turned to the use of public safety recording equipment, or voice recorders, as a method of bridging the gap between modern data retention and our most common form of communication technology–the basic telephone. Similar to systems used by emergency operators and even to those used by military operations that require the storage of communication data, these systems are now becoming an indispensable tool in the field of healthcare.

The first, and most obvious benefit of these voice recorders is the ability to provide proof of compliance to regulatory requirements. With stress on the healthcare system reaching an all-time high, government officials on all levels have turned their focus to ensuring that all regulatory requirements are being met in order to maximize the healthcare system’s efficiency. The ability to record and retain phone conversations allows for a safety net to reinforce contract agreements, payment information, and details pertaining to insurance coverage.

Obviously, the possession of this type of data requires significant protection, which brings us to the second benefit of this budding technology: security. Restricted user access, encryption technology, and other enhanced safety features provide peace of mind.

Particularly in the field of healthcare, misinformation can lead to a variety of dangerous situations. In the event of a dispute over whether or not a patient had received proper direction, it can often be difficult to determine who, if anyone, is at fault. By enlisting the services of high quality voice recorders, the issue of liability becomes an open and close case, potentially saving thousands in costly litigation fees.

At one end of the spectrum, call logging technology is a daily convenience, something that can save hours each week by providing quick and easy access to conversations that have already occurred. On the other hand, a voice recorder can also easily save thousands of dollars in unnecessary legal fees. No matter how you cut it, this is one audio track that is worth listening to.

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