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Just the right prescription: wireless phones are an integral part of hospital's all-digital network.



The Kansas Spine Hospital, located in Wichita, Kan.-specializing in neurosurgery neurosurgery /neu·ro·sur·gery/ (noor´o-sur?jer-e) surgery of the nervous system.

neu·ro·sur·ger·y
n.
Surgery on any part of the nervous system.
, spinal surgery, pain management and radiology--is one of the first hospitals in the country to digitize To convert an image or signal into digital code by scanning, tracing on a graphics tablet or using an analog to digital conversion device. 3D objects can be digitized by a device with a mechanical arm that is moved onto all the corners.  patients' medical records, from prescriptions and clinical records to x-rays and other radiology images, and make them accessible by computer.

In keeping with its goals for an entirely digital system, the hospital's development team specified a digital telecommunications system before the institution opened in 2003. According to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 CIO CIO: see American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.


(Chief Information Officer) The executive officer in charge of information processing in an organization.
 Michael Knocke, objectives included having a reliable and durable digital telecommunications system with open standards Specifications for hardware and software that are developed by a standards organization or a consortium involved in supporting a standard. Available to the public for developing compliant products, open standards imply "open systems;" that an existing component in a system can be replaced  that would allow integration and convergence with its data network, and one that would allow growth and migration to new technologies and capabilities.

To meet its objectives, the hospital turned to Great Plains Communications of Wichita, one of the areas providers of communications solutions for the medical industry. Great Plains recommended a Toshiba Strata CTX CTX Context (Management; Tandem)
CTX Centex Corporation (stock symbol)
CTX Centrex
CTX Cyclophosphamide
CTX Corporate Trade Exchange
CTX Cytoxan
CTX Cholera Toxin
CTX Clinical Trial Exemption
670 business-communications system with Toshiba Stratagy IES 12-port voice mail, and unified messaging Having access to e-mail, voice mail and faxes via a common computer application or by telephone. For example, unified messaging may send faxes and digitized voice mail to a mail server that turns them into e-mail attachments. .

The system also includes Toshiba digital desktop telephones, plus 24 SpectraLink wireless telephones, which were programmed to extend the features and capabilities of the users' desktop telephones to anywhere they roam at the 22-bed hospital. Other wireless technologies, such as cellular, could not be used due to the interference with sensitive medical equipment.

"Being able to be mobile, yet still receive all our telephone calls, has greatly improved our efficiency and productivity," says Darryl Thornton, COO of the hospital. "Toshiba's SpectraLink solution was the only one we found that would extend our desktop telephones to the palms of our hands."

The system also accommodates the hospital's remote users. "The system is so flexible that we were able to connect our remote users and still have it look like they are located at our corporate offices," Thornton explains. "Both incoming and outgoing calls are routed via the remote users' extensions through our main system at the hospital, so it's totally transparent that they aren't here at the hospital."

The hospital also had unique requirements for the Strata CTX670, including paging that could be restricted by area and the ability to restrict long distance on specific telephones, such as those in the lobby and in patient rooms, which required special programming.

To deliver the hospital's integrated voice and data communication, Great Plains partnered with TelCove, a provider of business-critical telecommunications services In telecommunication, the term telecommunications service has the following meanings:

1. Any service provided by a telecommunication provider.

2.
 to enterprise customers and carriers, and NetVision Technologies, a provider of data networking services and technology consulting, all with offices in Wichita. TelCove delivered the external network, while NetVision handled the internal network.

TelCove installed a fiber connection at the hospital connecting it to TelCove's synchronous fiber-optic network (SONET), to provide both local network services and long distance. The SONET topography design enables all elements on the SONET ring The architecture used in SONET technology. SONET rings, known as "self-healing rings," use two or more transmission paths between network nodes, which are typically digital cross-connects (DCSs) or add/drop multiplexers (ADMs).  to continuously communicate with each other, with information being routed in both directions, so if an element is inactive for any reason, the network stays active.

At the hospital, the optical network terminates the voice services on ISDN ISDN
 in full Integrated Services Digital Network

Digital telecommunications network that operates over standard copper telephone wires or other media.
, using a primary rate interface (PRI PRI: see Institutional Revolutionary party.


(Primary Rate Interface) An ISDN service that provides 23 64 Kbps B (Bearer) channels and one 64 Kbps D (Data) channel (23B+D), which is equivalent to the 24 channels of a T1 line.
) that runs through the Toshiba switch via PRI cards. The system also delivers a full T-1 of Internet service.

Reliability of the optical network-a high priority for the hospital--was tested when a tornado destroyed two miles of the network cabling. Despite the damage, the network did not experience any downtime The time during which a computer is not functioning due to hardware, operating system or application program failure. .

NetVision installed the hospital's internal voice and data network, including setting up the wireless local area network, multitiered security and a high-capacity, fully gigabit infrastructure.

"The key to the success of both the data networking and voice applications is having a wireless network that is free of interference and fully compatible with both applications," says Brent Burdick, NetVision president.

NetVision was heavily involved in the overall design of the network, from placements of cabling and wireless access points to infrastructure issues such as heating and cooling. Planning the system before the hospital was built was a critical element to the system's deployment, Thornton says, as was having a battery backup See UPS.  in place as the system was deployed.

Of the hospital's new wireless telephones, Knocke says, "The ability to be mobile and receive your telephone calls at the same time is one of the biggest benefits I've ever seen in a hospital telephone system. Our telephones have given us a huge advantage in communicating with patients, families, doctors, other medical facilities and each other.

"Being an open system, this system will let us add voice over IP or other capabilities as our needs change and as we grow," adds Knocke.

For more information from Toshiba: www.rsleads.com/502cn-251

Michael Knocke, CIO of Kansas Spine Hospital, uses an integrated, wireless telephone in the hospital's pre-op area.
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Title Annotation:Special Focus: Voice Networks
Comment:Just the right prescription: wireless phones are an integral part of hospital's all-digital network.(Special Focus: Voice Networks)
Publication:Communications News
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Feb 1, 2005
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