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Improve Productivity & Cost Efficiency

Case Studies

St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center

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New York, USA

St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center is a comprehensive healthcare facility serving 16 counties in the state of New York. Like other hospitals, it must strictly monitor temperatures in its many refrigerators and freezers to safely preserve medical resources and comply with stringent regulations. Traditionally, the hospital's nurses, pharmacy and laboratory staff were assigned the task of monitoring and logging refrigerator and freezer temperatures multiple times a day and alerting staff to any out-of-range events – a time-consuming, labor-intense process. For Chuck Fennell, St. Joseph's CIO, the challenge was to find a practical, cost-effective means of eliminating the time-consuming chore of manual temperature monitoring, while improving regulatory compliance.

NEC designed, built and installed St. Joseph's voice and data infrastructure, and also installed the hospital's wireless LAN data network, so Fennel naturally leveraged St. Joseph's long-term relationship with NEC to find a viable temperature-monitoring solution. “NEC is a great partner to work with,” says Fennell. “They are very familiar with our wired and wireless infrastructure and bring an excellent value-add to all our IT solutions.” NEC suggested a temperature-monitoring solution from AeroScout that would allow the hospital to leverage its existing wireless network. Wi-Fi based, temperature-monitoring RFID tags are placed in each of the hospital's refrigerators and freezers. Every few minutes, the tags send temperature readings over the hospital's Wi-Fi network to AeroScout's MobileView software, an event dashboard that displays temperature-range reports.

Fennell found the solution offers the simplest, most cost-efficient solution for temperature monitoring in part because it leverages his existing wireless network and investment. “It requires no hard wires and no additional network infrastructure – a big plus,” he says.

The MobileView application also includes corrective-action logging. If the temperature of a refrigeration unit exceeds or drops below a pre-set threshold, an alert is triggered. If the condition persists, MobileView includes escalation rules that alert other employees in a specific order until the situation is corrected.

“MobileView is completely rules-based,” adds Fennell. “We get to determine who the system contacts on what device and in what order.” The AeroScout solution presents a zoned floor plan in a graphical format, making it extremely easy to find the specific refrigerator or freezer in question. The hospital benefits by relieving highly skilled workers of an important but lesser-skilled task so they can spend more time attending to patient needs. As Fennell puts it: “Our nurses, laboratory and pharmacy staffs are now freed up to do what they do best.”

Nij Smellinghe Hospital

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The Netherlands

Nij Smellinghe is a public hospital with more than 1,200 staff, including 92 doctors, and a 11-member Information & Automation team that administers more than 100,000 digitized patient records. NEC had previously implemented the IT architecture for this hospital, which comprised 450 workstations and around forty servers with 30Tb of storage. The challenge for Nij Smellinghe was to guard the confidentiality of patient medical records, while at the same time making them immediately accessible at any time by clinical staff from any department. The hospital was also looking for ways to boost productivity, cut costs, and reduce energy consumption, especially by its computers.

The solution suggested by NEC was to equip all of the hospital's departments with the Virtual PC Center (VPCC), NEC's new-generation thin-client architecture for PC virtualization. Thanks to greater service life and minimal maintenance needs, three-year TCO has been cut by 40%.

Energy bills fell even more – by a full 75%. This is because a thin client terminal consumes 8 to 10 times less than a PC. With quieter client stations and an extended service life, the VPCC also helps to make computing more environmentally friendly. The thin client architecture concentrates applications and data on the server, so there is no local storage at workstations, which significantly reduces the risks of loss or intrusion.

Administration is simplified since the whole system can be run from a single workstation, and the IT team can work on the server and carry out updates to applications or deploy patches without interfering with the running of the hospital. Clinical staff can now be more productive, accessing the data they need in just 30 seconds, whereas with a standard PC the waiting time was more than 4 minutes. They now enjoy real mobility and guaranteed accessibility to critical data since staff can access their working environment from any client station, in reception, in the administrative offices, in the operating theatre or in a treatment room. Medical personnel can therefore access patient files, test results or medical imaging from any department in the hospital. And what's more, they have access to better applications, an easy-to-use interface, and top-of-the-range multimedia performance with optimum display quality.

Wim Loman, Nij Smellinghe IT Manager, is highly satisfied with their solution: “With the VPCC we have considerably improved stability and performance of our infrastructure and at the same time reduced running costs and simplified system maintenance. For us, this solution truly represents the PC of tomorrow, for the hospital of tomorrow!”

Healthcare

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