A private, physician-owned hospital with nine operating rooms, 21 inpatient beds, 22 outpatient beds and four extended-stay beds, as well as a network of more than 50 physician offices, representing more than a dozen specialties, Lincoln Surgical Hospital in Nebraska continues to experience rapid growth. Increasing use of wireless and wired technology contributed to efficiency, but it also had also created islands of disparate networks. It also resulted in additional costs as each satellite office invested in its own wireless network solution to accommodate the use of individual mobile devices by patients and guests.
Recognizing the advantages of developing a seamless technology system within the main hospital itself and throughout its physician network, Lincoln Surgical Hospital and its IT team tapped Prime Communications to implement a solution that would facilitate the exchange and availability of medical records, imaging and test results. The solution would also need to standardize technology at individual physician offices – all while ensuring security and reliability.
Ultimately, Lincoln Surgical Hospital wanted to be considered one of the most progressive hospitals in the country in the use of technology. Prime Communications designed and implemented a highly scalable solution to accommodate the system’s exponential growth, a redundant network with no single point of failure and level of security to meet the regulatory requirements of HIPAA. Work started in the hospital’s data center, replacing poorly performing systems with a meshed fabric network by Extreme Networks. The hospital’s wireless network was also replaced with a new wireless solution to reliably deliver data, voice and medical device traffic—critical to its ability to support enabled laptops, PCs, mobile devices and computers-on-wheels that are critical to patient care. Through the use of Remote Access Point (RAP) devices, Prime created a secure, two-way communication system that allowed sensitive data to be securely exchanged between the hospital and individual offices. In addition, hospital applications could be served as remote offices needed them, ensuring the same user experience whether at the hospital or at a clinic or office. As part of the solution, each physician site was able to have two wireless networks running from the same RAP. One connected to Lincoln Surgical Hospital and the other was specific to office operations, including wireless access to the guest network.
The new system from Prime Communications has improved network performance, enhanced capabilities and increased security for Lincoln Surgical Hospital—all while reducing operational costs. In addition, it has permitted cost-savings at individual physician offices by eliminating a firewall, a router and in some cases, a switch, without impacting security or capability of the network. For the IT team, it has minimized the resources required to manage the network, allowing it to remain focused on the hospital’s continued reputation as a progressive user of the latest technology to further the patient experience and medical outcomes.