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BellSouth Healthcare Customers Stay Well-Connected

- Twenty-one BellSouth Customers Named as 100 Most Wired Hospitals –

ATLANTA. – July 29, 2005 – BellSouth (NYSE: BLS) announced today that 21 healthcare providers that rely on the company’s communication services have been named Hospitals & Health Networks magazine’s 100 Most Wired winners for 2005. The winners are being recognized this week at Health Forum’s 2005 Summit in San Diego.

The Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study recognizes hospitals that are effectively using IT and data networking strategies in their organizations. Twenty-one BellSouth customers were recognized in the 100 Most Wired list, and four additional healthcare customers were awarded Most Improved, Most Wired- Small and Rural and Innovator distinctions.

“BellSouth has the most robust communications infrastructure in the Southeast and is uniquely positioned to serve the leading regional healthcare organizations with complex needs,” said Fred Shaftman, president, BellSouth Business. “Communication has an added sense of urgency in healthcare and the organizations that are properly wired can ultimately impact life threatening situations.”

According to the survey, the 100 Most Wired hospitals have, on average, risk adjusted mortality rates that are 7.2 percent lower. The results also indicate that these organizations use a wider array of IT tools to address quality, conduct a higher percentage of clinical transitions using IT and more physicians enter orders themselves.

St. Vincent’s Hospital, located in Birmingham, Ala., has implemented a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) throughout its five-building campus that allows clinical staff to enter and read orders via handheld data devices. The hospital also conducts bedside registration in its burn and pain units.

“Our technology initiatives are all centered on providing better care for our patients,” said Curtis James, CEO, St. Vincent’s Hospital. “Technology is a powerful tool and it is important to equip healthcare organizations with the tools they need to deliver excellent service.”

Piedmont Hospital is celebrating its 100-year anniversary in Atlanta and has been recognized in the Most Wired list. Its sister hospital south of the city, Piedmont Fayette Hospital, was also included among the Most Wired- Small and Rural honorees. Both hospitals are using IT solutions to equip clinicians, recently implementing an electronic pharmaceutical dispensing system that provides added levels of security and accuracy. Piedmont Hospital is also involved in statewide efforts to deliver telemedicine services to smaller communities with limited access to medical specialists.

“One of the things that has changed the most in healthcare in the last century is technology,” said John Hilliard, vice president and chief information officer. Piedmont Healthcare. “Learning how to optimize the latest medical and communications innovations will help propel this industry to future growth.”

Physicians and nurses at Miami Children’s Hospital are able to access infant patient data following heart surgery through a single Web interface. The program saves clinical notes, vital signs information, radiology reports and digital images, linking physician teams from across the Southeast. This application has earned the hospital a finalist spot in the Innovator Award category.

“Information technology has assisted our Cardiac Team in reducing our infant mortality rate by 74 percent. Technology in itself is impressive, but with the right application, you can save lives. That’s powerful,” said Thomas M. Rozek, president and CEO, Miami Children’s Hospital.

For more information about BellSouth Business voice and data solutions, visit