Healthcare Technology Featured Article

April 16, 2015

Boston Medical Center Upgrade Wi-Fi Network with Solutions from Aruba Networks

Boston Medical Center (BMC), the largest safety-net hospital in New England and the Boston University School of Medicine’s teaching hospital, is upgrading its wireless network with 802.11ac and mobile app solutions from Aruba Networks, a vendor of wireless LAN and edge access networking equipment. Aruba’s solutions will better unify the clinical campus with a comprehensive, reliable network that benefits physicians, staff and patients.

As part of a major campus redesign, BMC is expanding its wireless coverage to cover all areas and upgrading to 802.11ac in all of its buildings in response to the growing number of wireless and mobile devices and new applications on the network. In addition to the personal mobile devices of everyone who comes through the hospital, BMC’s network must be able to support a large number of essential or useful connected medical devices, including bedside mobile carts for doctors and nurses, handheld glucometers, infusion pumps, lab specimen collections and barcode printing systems.

“We’re seeing about 3,000 devices on the network every day,” said Craig Reise, Manager of Network Infrastructure and Engineering at BMC. “With the number of these devices growing at a rapid clip, we need to be sure that our wireless infrastructure can handle both the density and variety of devices on the network without sacrificing performance.”

Because the campus can have dead zones with little or no coverage, such as in radiology rooms, another priority for this upgrade is to make sure the wireless network is entirely reliable and pervasive. Doctors and nurses regularly rely on the network to access vital patient information as well as locate equipment, which can be quite problematic when coverage is inadequate. A speedier network with better reliability and complete coverage will also serve as the foundation for improving the operation of many existing applications and helping integrate new ones when the need arises.

BMC will also launch the Aruba Meridian mobile app platform, which delivers way-finding capabilities. The center is composed of a complex arrangement of departments that can cause problems for navigation, even amongst employees. With Meridian BMC can then launch its own mobile app that helps staff and visitors alike find their way around using indoor navigation technology.

Specifically, BMC is deploying Aruba’s 220 Series 802.11ac Access Points, 7200 Series Mobility Controllers, AirWave network management system and ClearPass Access Management solution for device authentication and access.

“Aruba was a great partner in helping us through design, planning and implementation,” Reise added. “In a working hospital, you can’t afford to have disruption of services to patients, so planning ahead to ensure that access points were placed in the right locations, for example, was crucial to a smooth transition and roll-out, and Aruba helped us through all of these stages.”

BMC had over 26,000 admissions and 874,000 patient visitors over the past year and is slowly expanding its operations. Aruba’s solutions will help this growing facility provide high-quality patient care and a better experience for patients and their families while improving physician and staff efficiency.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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