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Ramsay Health Care deploys Colubris Networks’ WLAN equipment for wireless healthcare computing

Colubris Networks : 29 July, 2008  (Application Story)
Ramsay Health Care, a global hospital group operating more than 100 hospitals and day surgery facilities across Australia, the United Kingdom and Indonesia, has begun a phased deployment of Colubris Networks’ WLAN equipment to enable wireless computing for health care practitioners and surgeons at the company's facilities.
inTechnology Distribution is Colubris' Australian distribution partner for the project.

Ramsay Health Care is well respected in the health care industry for operating quality private hospitals and for its excellent record in hospital management and patient care. The group's facilities cater to a broad range of health care needs from outpatient procedures to highly complex surgery, as well as psychiatric care and rehabilitation. With more than 8,000 beds, Ramsay Health Care employs almost 25,000 staff locally and operates across three countries.

Using Colubris' WLAN wireless equipment, Ramsay Health Care is making new and existing hospital applications accessible to care givers from several areas within their facilities. The ability for surgeons and specialists to access information both pre and post procedure and while in the operating theatre, significantly increases practitioner efficiency while also improving patient care and safety.

Further, having experienced the convenience and versatility of the Colubris Wireless Mobility solution, Ramsay Health Care is now exploring its ability to leverage this wireless infrastructure to achieve the substantial benefits that can be gained using wireless voice and messaging, staff roaming applications, real time location tracking of equipment and patient internet access among other applications.

'Wireless deployments in health care settings need to be high performing, reliable and secure, and we've experienced all of that and more with Colubris' WLAN equipment,' said Mick Campbell, chief information officer, Ramsay Health Care. 'We've heard only positive comments about the new wireless network. Our health care applications, running over a Colubris network, will give our practitioners confidence that they can access the information they need to provide the best possible care to their patients.'

In addition to allowing access to information wirelessly, Ramsay Health Care has introduced innovative new applications intended to improve patient care and safety. One example is the Ďtraybax’ programme designed to track sterilised surgical equipment before, during and after surgical procedures employing a system utilizsng bar codes and wireless scanners. Each tray is scanned prior to the scheduled procedure and ensures that the right tray is selected and the inventory tracking capability allows the surgical team to precisely account for all equipment post procedure.

inTechnology and Ramsay Health Care have deployed Colubris WLANs in 12 different locations to date, including 11 hospitals and the company's IT laboratory. In total, more than 90 Multi-Service Access Points (MAP-330s) have been deployed across these sites, and each site utilises a single Multi-Service Controller. Additional rollouts of the Colubris solution at other facilities in the Ramsay Health Care network are scheduled based on established need and budget considerations.

Ramsay Health Care decided to deploy Colubris because of its distributed architecture, which eliminates the bottlenecks and performance problems that can occur with centralised solutions. Other advantages were Colubris' strong security, industry-leading QoS and an upgrade path that maximises past technology investments while allowing for future growth and expansion.

'The Ramsay Health Care WLAN project is a great example of how wirelessly enabling applications spurs innovation which in turn improves efficiency and patient care,' explained Tom Racca, vice president of marketing at Colubris. 'Hospitals are served by highly mobile workforces. This complex environment makes it challenging to provide instant access to the information required to provide top-notch patient care. As such, more and more hospitals are turning to wireless solutions to meet their unique requirements and organizations such as Ramsay Health Care are demonstrating how Colubris wireless solutions, which enable true mobility, are meeting their needs.'
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