Health Information Exchange Featured Article

November 29, 2012

Health Information Exchange of Montana Calls upon Cyan to Build Fiber Optic Network

Healthcare situations sometimes require that information be exchanged as quickly as possible. A small delay in the transaction is all it takes to draw the line between life and death. Health Information Exchange of Montana (HIEM), a group of hospitals and health centers whose goals are to increase the network capacity of their infrastructures for better collaboration and faster information exchange, has decided upon building a 425-mile fiber optic network that would be privately used by the healthcare facilities in the charter. This network will be built upon Cyan's Blue Planet software and Z-Series packet-optical transport platform, according to Cyan's announcement. The network is intended to significantly reduce the amount of time that is needed to hasten the process of healthcare, particularly the need for high-speed remote access.

To make sure that the network is sustainable in the long run, HIEM decided to build its own infrastructure instead of renting it from a service provider. This gives HIEM more control over the data flow and maximizes the security of its intranet. Any excess bandwidth it has to spare will be leased to service providers to offset costs.

"Cyan helped HIEM improve healthcare services and the quality of life in some of the most rural areas of Montana, especially regarding trauma care," said Kip Smith, executive director at HIEM. "Activity that used to take an hour or two -- sending x-rays, diagnosing injuries, consulting with experts and initiating patient transportation -- can now be done in seconds or minutes. Cyan was a true partner throughout the network design and implementation process. They helped us meet unforeseen challenges and create economically viable solutions quickly and easily using Blue Planet planning and management apps."

Eric Clelland, CMO at Cyan, said, "For healthcare delivery organizations like HIEM, the stakes are enormous. This is especially true in the geographic region HIEM operates in -- large distances and remote, difficult-to-access locations place a premium on a network able to deliver high reliability and extremely low latency. By building its own network, HIEM is ultimately able to improve the quality of life for its patients."

Edited by Rich Steeves