Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARUN) today announced that Regional Medical Center at Memphis (The MED) has replaced its Cisco wireless network with an Aruba wireless LAN to expand coverage across its main hospital and four clinics and to connect the organization’s increasing number of wireless medical and mobile devices. The MED has also deployed Aruba ClearPass, an access management system designed to simplify and automate the secure provisioning of mobile devices on enterprise networks, to deliver improved wireless guest access to patients and visitors.
With more than 2,200 employees including 500 nurses and 200 doctors, The MED is a regional healthcare resource serving a five-state region within 150 miles of Memphis, Tennessee. Comprised of a large main hospital and four clinics, The MED also serves as one of the largest medical and surgical teaching sites for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
In 2010, The MED realized it needed to replace its aging 802.11 b/g network which was delivering spotty and inconsistent coverage and proving difficult for The MED’s IT team to manage. In addition to upgrading the network to 802.11n to improve overall bandwidth and speed, The MED had several critical goals for its wireless network overhaul: improving and expanding coverage across the full campus; supporting the growing number of new wireless medical and mobile devices coming onto the network; ensuring ease of use and secure access not only for staff, nurses and physicians, but also for patients and their visitors on the hospital guest network; and finally, easing the network management burden for the IT department. After a thorough evaluation of WLAN solutions from its incumbent vendor, Cisco Systems, and Aruba Networks, The MED determined that Aruba could best meet its needs.
The MED deployed two Aruba mobility controllers and 450 Aruba AP-135 access points, as well as the AirWave network management system and Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager and ClearPass Guest. The Aruba wireless network now gives The MED full coverage across its entire campus including the previous “dead spots” between buildings and clinical areas that were subject to dropped connections with the old network. In addition, the new network can accommodate the increasing number of mobile devices that The MED is connecting to the network including 215 Bedside Mobile Workstations (BMWs) that doctors and nurses access for bedside medication, verification and medical documentation. The MED has also rolled out mobile hand scanners that provide nurses with greater flexibility to scan medications, patient wristbands and IDs from anywhere in the hospital, rather than being tied to a static workstation.
“Our philosophy is, the more mobile devices, the better,” said Tony Alphier, IT Director for The MED. “Increasing staff, physician and nurse mobility results in more efficient and better quality patient care, and increased accountability. Delivering that mobility requires a reliable wireless infrastructure that supports the increase in mobile devices and eliminates dropped connections. With Aruba, we have confidence that the infrastructure will support all of our current and future mobility needs.”
Another key factor in The MED’s decision to choose Aruba over Cisco was the ability to eliminate the multiple SSIDs required with the Cisco solution for different end users to log onto the network, as well as Aruba’s profile-based security which allows The MED’s IT team to easily manage who has access to which network resources. This is especially critical given The MED sees an average of 500 guests accessing the network at any given time. Alphier added, “My goal is to give physicians, nurses, patients and family members an easy solution to connect to the network, whether it’s a doctor accessing our Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system or a visitor checking email while waiting for a family member in the ICU. Aruba made the process of configuring profiles for different levels of access simple and easy, so that we don’t confuse end users with 15 different SSIDs or flood our helpdesk with calls to get users connected.”
From an IT management perspective, The MED also found that Aruba’s AirWave was easier to use and more powerful than their previous solution. Alphier noted, “With just two employees on our network IT team, anything that helps them do their job faster and more efficiently is going to ultimately result in better service for our doctors, nurses and staff and better care for patients.”
Given The MED’s plan to add new buildings including the expansion of its radiology department, Alphier sees a continuation of the organization’s mobile strategy, adding more mobile carts and more wireless medical devices such as infusion pumps to the network. The MED also plans to roll out voice over IP handsets in the near future.
“The MED is a stellar example of a healthcare organization recognizing the productivity and efficiency benefits mobility can bring to its staff and therefore, the tremendous positive impact it can have on patient care,” said Gerry Festa, director, industry solutions marketing for Aruba. “More healthcare organizations are investing in mobility and, as a result, are relying on Aruba to provide the kind of reliable, always-available wireless infrastructure required for challenging environments like these.”
About Aruba Networks, Inc.
Aruba Networks is a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise. The company’s Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture unifies wired and wireless network infrastructures into one seamless access solution for corporate headquarters, mobile business professionals, remote workers and guests. This unified approach to access networks enables IT organizations and users to securely address the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon, dramatically improving productivity and lowering capital and operational costs.
Listed on the NASDAQ and Russell 2000® Index, Aruba is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific regions. To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products visit Airheads Social at http://community.arubanetworks.com.
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