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News

Wireless voice and data communications solution helps McCune-Brooks Hospital respond to patients

Siemens Communications : 20 November, 2007  (New Product)
The new, soon-to-open McCune-Brooks Hospital in Carthage, Missouri, USA, has implemented a secure, highly reliable IP-based wireless voice and data communications solution from Siemens Communications in collaboration with Siemens Building Technologies to offer a highly responsive patient care service.
For nearly 80 years, McCune-Brooks Hospital has served the surrounding five-county, mostly rural area almost 300 miles southwest of St. Louis, Missouri, USA. The hospital’s new facility will feature sun-filled, all-private rooms to promote individualised patient care, with an emphasis on women's health and maternity needs. The facility aims to provide the community with advanced, state-of-the-art healthcare rivalling that of big-city hospitals, while also attracting a highly skilled nursing and physician staff interested in a rural lifestyle and healthcare delivery.

In designing the new space, McCune-Brooks realised that its communications capabilities will play a vital role in delivering the high- quality, healthcare services it intends to offer. That's why the hospital chose to deploy a wireless LAN (WLAN)-based voice/data infrastructure throughout the hospital via the Siemens HiPath Wireless mobile communications platform.

'The HiPath Wireless solution will give us pervasive Wi-Fi access everywhere in the hospital, so nurses, doctors and other medical personnel can access patient information and each other more quickly to help resolve patient issues faster and more effectively,' said Bob Fitzpatrick, support services director, McCune-Brooks Hospital. 'Less time spent by our staff running back and forth to nursing stations or between floors means more time they can spend with patients.'

McCune-Brooks Hospital will implement its converged voice/data infrastructure in two phases. First will be data access capabilities. Siemens Communications will design and install a fixed data network from 3Com, a qualified Siemens partner. Complementing this will be a WLAN comprising a Siemens HiPath Wireless C20 Controller that will manage 27 HiPath Wireless Access Points (APs) installed in optimised locations throughout the hospital. To further ensure data integrity, safeguard patient data privacy and provide the strictest protection against unwarranted wireless intrusions, McCune- Brooks will also deploy the HiPath HiGuard security module.

Concurrently, to provision fixed communications in patient rooms, treatment areas and offices, the hospital will install 400 Siemens optiPoint telephones, which will be supported by a Siemens HiPath 4000 HiPath Real-Time IP communications solution, a flexible and reliable platform. In addition, McCune-Brooks will introduce wireless voice capabilities for selected staff members with additional wireless telephones from SpectraLink, another long- standing Siemens partner.

The HiPath Wireless network segmentation capabilities will let McCune- Brooks' network administrators easily deploy separate and secure virtual networks for patients, medical professionals and other hospital staff. 'This way, all our hospital constituencies can benefit from our investment in a converged voice/data, fixed-mobile infrastructure,' said Fitzpatrick. 'At the same time, we'll gain substantial savings over running separate networks.'

'The open architecture of the Siemens HiPath portfolio has been of great value to us in helping to converge both voice and data, as well as our fixed and mobile networks,' said Fitzpatrick. 'It is also assured us of the kind of multivendor interoperability we wanted, so today and in the future we can choose best-of-breed components to bring new capabilities and a consistent user experience without imposition.'

'The strength of cross-cooperation of many companies came together with this project to help the hospital achieve its objectives,' said Jeffrey Forbes, vice president, Healthcare Solutions, Siemens Communications. 'To the hospital, we all became a single entity, making it easier for them to do business and get everything they needed. We brought the breadth of required expertise to deliver the necessary consultancy and affordability they were looking for.'
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