Legacy communication networks suffer from limited functionality, which in turn results in frustrations and inefficiencies for management and staff. These frustrations can have an extremely negative trickle-down effect on the customer or patient experience. A large healthcare system decided it was time to solve this issue; to modernize their communication system in several locations across the Northwestern US, including multiple medical centers, critical access hospitals, and medical clinics. In this case, one of the top concerns was operational efficiency, and the legacy CS1000 platform was becoming increasingly inefficient and extremely costly to maintain.

However, the customer struggled with establishing an IP local area network to support the new system. The process would be extremely costly, time-consuming, and complex, as each location would have to rip-and-replace the existing CAT3 infrastructure with new Ethernet. Additionally, extensive power and cooling upgrades were required in hundreds of IDF closets to support even more standard reach PoE switches. Upgrading the cabling and IDF closets would be extremely disruptive to business and would significantly lower the patient and visitor experience. These network upgrades left the customer frustrated and uncertain how to proceed, forcing the project to be delayed indefinitely.

The healthcare system decided to change the conversation around traditional LAN design thinking and apply Modern LAN principles. The customer learned about the NVT Phybridge PoLRE® (Power over Long Reach Ethernet) switch, with SmartPathPoE™ technology, and decided to test the solution. In a few simple setup steps, the PoLRE switch transformed the existing CAT3 voice infrastructure into a robust and reliable IP backbone for the new IP communication system. Thanks to PoLRE’s long reach capabilities, the customer was able to connect IP devices up to 1,200ft (365m) – 4 times farther than standard PoE switches – helping them support IP phones exactly where they were needed without installing IDF closets. Upgrading across multiple locations is simple with PoLRE‘s repeatable, predictable and scalable deployment methodology.

This large healthcare system deployed over 900 IP phones without replacing the existing cabling infrastructure and without installing any new IDF closets, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars and eliminating operational disruption. This successful project was recognized by IoT(Internet of Things to the Power of Green), an association of businesses that support and recognize responsible digital transformations. Using an innovative analytic tool to measure environmental responsibility, the large healthcare system received the highest rating, 5 stars, for their exceptional transformation.

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