The Internet of Things is being adopted by organizations all around the world, of all sizes, and in all industries. In healthcare, upgrading to IP telephony often results in extremely disruptive hospital renovations that negatively impact patient care. By applying Modern LAN principles, healthcare organizations are eliminating fundamental barriers to IP adoption.
The Unique Challenges of Hospital Renovations
A University Medical Center located in the United States was looking to create an IP-based emergency phone network that would remain operational in the event of a network outage. However, renovations required to rip-and-replace the existing wiring infrastructure to support the new IP phones would be extremely disruptive to patient care. In any medical facility, areas under construction need to be closed and sealed off to prevent contamination from airborne pathogens. As renovations in different areas are finished, these containment zones are taken down and set back up at the next renovation area. This process is extremely time and cost intensive.
Hospital renovations also decrease the amount of space for patient care, as any area under construction is not accessible. Foot traffic also needs to be re-routed around the renovation areas, and the alternative routes are often inefficient and frustrating for staff, patients, and visitors. To complicate the project even further, the University Medical Center operates in a building over 100 years old. To maintain the building’s historical integrity, the renovation process would be more complicated, take longer and create even more mess and disruption.
Modern LAN Innovation
Using Modern LAN principles, the medical center established an upgrade plan that would prevent the extremely disruptive and time intensive renovation process. The medical center discovered that by using the PoLRE® switch, they could avoid the entire renovation headache. Modern LAN principles state that network design should be approached from an outside-in perspective. By first evaluating the needs of the endpoints, it was determined that by using new long reach switch innovations, the customer could leverage the existing CAT3 infrastructure to provide the exact power and bandwidth requirements up to 1,200ft (365m).
The University Medical Center’s commitment to health, safety, and innovation allowed them to:
- Avoid months of disruptive renovations, ensuring the safety of all staff, patients, and visitors
- Create a separate and robust IP backbone for the emergency phones, maximizing the security of the core network
- Deploy over 400 IP phones across the emergency network over just a few nights
- Save over $300,000 in infrastructure costs, accelerating the project’s return on investment
By leveraging Modern LAN principles, the University Medical Center significantly reduced the project’s impact on the environment. The hospital was able to reuse 100% of their existing cabling infrastructure, which prevented approximately 240,000 feet of cable from ending up in a landfill (equivalent to the weight of 14 hospital beds!). The long reach capabilities of the new switches also eliminated the need to upgrade or install new IDF closets, further reducing material and energy consumption. IoTG (Internet of Things to the Power of Green) awarded the University Medical Center with a 4-star project rating for an environmentally responsible modernization to IP.
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