More Healthcare All-Stars

Eight healthcare institutions display network innovation.

AUSTIN RADIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION

When this specialty healthcare provider decided to migrate to an all-digital, Web-based imaging system to serve 65 radiologists at 14 facilities in central Texas, it turned to free-space optics, which provides optical bandwidth from lasers placed line-of-sight from one building to another. Austin Radiological Association selected LightPointe Communications' Flight optical wireless systems, including FlightStrata with 155M bit/sec of secure bandwidth and the FlightLite 100, which delivers 100M bit/sec. With the systems, ARA can expand the business while minimizing infrastructure costs and enhancing communications and collaboration. The firm realized ROI on its FlightLite gear in six months and expects a 12- to 18-month ROI for the FlightStrata equipment.

BETH ISRAEL DEACONESS MEDICAL CENTER

This Boston medical center is always looking for ways to improve patient care while cutting costs. By optimizing workflows and improving asset management, CIO John Halamka is saving the hospital $300,000 to $400,000 annually lost in missing equipment. He selected a Wi-Fi-based asset-tracking system, relying on location-aware technology from PanGo Networks and a Cisco-based wireless LAN. No longer will cardiac monitors and wheelchairs go missing within the sprawling complex. Medical staff can more easily find the assets. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has invested a nominal $50,000 in the technology, but Halamka says the cost of full deployment should reach into the six figures.

COVENANT HEALTH

HEALTHCARE QUICK STATS

MEDIAN PROJECT DURATION:

12 months

MEDIAN PROJECT BUDGET:

$500,000

NOTEWORTHY:

Mean one-year ROI for winning healthcare projects is 164%.

This Knoxville, Tenn., healthcare provider fended off a potential $1.5 million data center infrastructure upgrade by turning to server virtualization. IT spent $345,000 on four virtualized nodes from VMware and subsequently has reduced the number of physical production servers by 100 and consolidated 10 test-and-development servers into one virtualized server. Covenant now deploys 75% of its applications on virtual machines, with uptime topping 99%. Provisioning time is down to less than a day, compared with a month or more previously. Covenant also reports capital savings of $155,000 over 18 months.

LAKE FOREST HOSPITAL FOUNDATION

This Lake Forest, Ill., organization replaced more than 20 disparate networks in a $1.4 million network overhaul. The new Cisco-powered Gigabit Ethernet backbone spans the foundation's two main campuses and 10 remote sites in a 20-mile radius. Wide-area connectivity comes by way of an SBC-provided OC-12 SONET ring. Availability of a single, high-speed backbone, combined with deployment of a digital imaging system, has significantly improved the medical staff's efficiency while reducing costs. For example, physicians can view X-rays and other medical images from their computers - either on-site or when tapping into the network via an SSL VPN from home. Lake Forest Hospital Foundation has introduced exclusive services, such as fetal echo cardiography. The foundation says it has cut operational costs in critical clinical areas by as much as 75%, while tallying a $2 million first-year ROI.

MEDCO HEALTH SOLUTIONS

This pharmacy benefit manager in Franklin Lakes, N.J., has crafted a business service management strategy combining Six Sigma best practices with sophisticated service management tools. So far, increasing efficiencies and eliminating system downtime has resulted in up to 99% fewer IT defects reaching customers - which has translated to a 20% improvement in client satisfaction over the last 12 months. A host of BMC Software tools underpins the BSM system, while Invoq Systems' AlarmPoint software provides data for building service-level agreements. Medco slates project costs at $1 million and estimates saving $2,000 per help-desk ticket opened.

MOUNTAIN STATES HEALTH ALLIANCE

When this Johnson City, Tenn., healthcare system needed to provide secure access to wireless data, QoS-based VoIP and excellent cellular coverage, it discovered that an RF antenna-based broadband backbone best suited its needs. Using InnerWireless' InnerMobile RF broadband antenna system, Mountain States Health Alliance has built an in-building, shared wireless infrastructure that supports a host of voice and data services, including a Cisco-based wireless WAN. Among applications supported over the wireless infrastructure are bedside records-checking, PDA and wireless guest-service access and Citrix services. MHSA has invested $2.4 million in the six-hospital rollout. It expects to break even within three and a half years.

NOVARTIS

This Basel, Switzerland, pharmaceutical company has implemented two automated security-management platforms to keep its global infrastructure safe and in compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other regulations. The platforms discover security and compliance risks, assess their severity, generate role-based reports and offer remediation information. For external risk management, Novartis uses the SeTraSys tool to monitor about 150 devices directly connected to the Internet. IT monitors the internal infrastructure using the same technology, but with a management platform called Kaizen. SeTraSys and Kaizen are based on Qualys' vulnerability-scanning engine, which Novartis has integrated with its database that tracks vulnerabilities and details about networked devices. Novartis not only gets a current view of its security posture, but also can compare changes over time. Previously, each region handled security and compliance on its own.

PARKVIEW HEALTH SYSTEMS

A SONET ring is boosting this Fort Wayne, Ind., healthcare network's WAN bandwidth by 300% to 400%, thus enabling it to realize its grand goal of creating a virtual intensive-care unit serving 60 beds at seven hospitals. Parkview also will be able to transmit larger diagnostic studies, in some cases reducing the time to deliver MRI and other test results from days to hours. The ring includes five OC-48 and three Gigabit Ethernet nodes. Parkview, which uses Verizon's Enhanced Dedicated SONET Ring service, pegs project costs at $4.5 million over five years, or just $1,000 more per month than ATM.

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