Published on September 12th, 2011 | by Alexis Argent0
Rutland Regional Medical Center Embraces Aruba MOVE Architecture and Easily Integrates Area Physicians’ Practices with Aruba Virtual Branch Networking (VBN)
Rutland Regional Medical Center, a leading healthcare provider that serves as the go-to treatment center for Vermont’s best ski areas, is driving innovation in biomedicine and provider integration with the Aruba Networks (NASDAQ: ARUN) Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture.
The 188-bed hospital is in the process of deploying a Cerner Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system, converting diagnostic imaging (DI) rooms to digital, implementing a nurse call system and tracking patient health with a variety of biomedical devices – all over an Aruba wireless network. The center is also in the process of onboarding many provider practices into its own system – and is seeing costs lowered and lead times shortened significantly with Aruba Virtual Branch Networking (VBN).
“Hospitals today must be aggressive in assessing and adopting technology in order to ensure a consistently high level of patient care,” said Michael Catrini, director of information systems, infrastructure for the regional health leader. “The very nature of healthcare delivery has changed with the rapidly expanding pool of Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets. Wi-Fi becoming the default access network required a shift from the traditional port-centric approach to mobility-centric approach. We need to be able to see and control the user, device and application to help ensure security and application quality of service. Providers like Rutland can either drive it or be driven by it. We choose to drive.”
The hospital initially deployed wireless as most organizations do, as an overlay network in public areas such as waiting rooms and cafeterias. Over time, the use and deployment of that Cisco 802.11a/b/g network expanded to accommodate more patients, guests and their rapidly increasing numbers of mobile devices. It worked fine, for a while, but lack of visibility into traffic on the network and frequent radio interference caused issues. This, combined with lack of integrated network management capabilities and a growing pool of patient-care-focused mobile devices, necessitated a change.
The Aruba MOVE architecture is context-aware, taking each user’s device, location and application into account when applying security and management policies over the network. This helps organizations ensure secure connectivity for tablets and smartphones, as well as application performance and network reliability. MOVE further enables network rightsizing for mobility, allowing access networks to be built at a fraction of the cost of traditionally overprovisioned and undersubscribed Ethernet-switch based access networks.
Placing the highest priority on patient care, Catrini and his team sought a mobile network solution that would give them both visibility into and control over all of the traffic on the network, enabling them to minimize interference from the growing wave of non-critical devices and optimize performance of their own equipment securely and reliably. They needed a solution that would allow them to host and manage high densities of mobile clients, including everything from smartphones and tablets to Ascom and Honeywell communications and location tracking devices. They also needed to make sure the most critical applications were able to take priority over other applications.
Seeing a trend toward independently practicing providers joining larger groups owned and operated by the center, it also needed a solution that would enable remote access with complete transparency – as if the doctors’ offices were in the hospital itself. The Aruba Virtual Branch Networking (VBN) portfolio filled the bill.
“Aruba VBN Remote Access Points (RAPs) were a really key piece in influencing our decision-making,” said Catrini. “For the first time, we were able to bring on a one- or two-provider office with a few office staff without having to establish an expensive dedicated leased connection between the two and spend thousands of dollars at either end of that connection. By putting the Aruba RAP 5 in place, we can spend just a few hundred dollars for a business-class connection from one of the local ISPs and we can bring that office up in a matter of hours. When the whole thing is said and done, we have a few hundred dollars invested to have them extended to our network as if they were sitting right in our building.”
“Rutland is among the many innovative healthcare organizations that have realized a need to shift away from a port-centric model for mobility to achieve their application performance requirements in an often challenging care setting,” said Manish Rai, head of industry solutions marketing for Aruba. “Aruba’s Virtual Branch Networking solutions can extend the hospital network to remove sites at a fraction of the cost and complexity when compared to traditional branch office solutions.”