Reducing the Cost of Health Care Using Madge Technology

Mercy Hospital and Health Services in Merced, California is trimming health care costs by reducing the cost of handling information. Mercy has installed a failure-proof, high-bandwidth network from Madge Networks that is both cost-effective and highly scalable for the future. Products highlighted: LANswitch Plus hubs, LANswitch Plus Ethernet switching modules, Cellenium Bus. The audience includes the installed customer base, senior network management, CIOs, IS directors, network managers, network planners, distributors, channel resellers.
Mercy Hospital
Reducing the Cost of Health Care Using Madge Technology
Mercy Hospital and Health Services in Merced, California is trimming health care costs by reducing the cost of handling information. By the year 2000, Mercy's hospital management, admissions, lab, patient care, radiology, scheduling, and billing operations will be completely automated and paperless. To handle all this data, Mercy has installed a failure-proof, high-bandwidth network from Madge Networks that is both cost-effective and highly scalable for the future.
Scalability and Reliability
Mercy Hospital's two primary network planning criteria were scalability and reliability. "We wanted to put in a system that we could build on and expand as our bandwidth needs grew--not throw out in a couple of years," said Kevin Shimamoto, Director of Information Technology at Mercy Hospital. "The efficiency of our operations and the quality of our patient care depend on 100% network availability, so fault tolerance was also a must."
High-Speed Switching
Mercy Hospital chose Madge's LANswitch Plus switching hubs with LANswitch Plus Ethernet switching modules as the best available combination of scalability and fault -tolerance. "The 1.28 Gbps high-speed Cellenium Bus in the LANswitch Plus hub means that I won't have to forklift out the hub and replace it in a couple of years," said Shimamoto.
Performance is Key
The hospital's PC users are connected via Category 5 twisted-pair cabling and patch panels to three LANswitch Plus hubs populated with LANswitch Plus LSE-208 switching modules. The eight hospital users plugged into each module have access to 20 Mbps of switched Ethernet bandwidth. "The switched Ethernet has given us wonderful performance today; to the user, network response appears instantaneous," said Shimamoto.
"As we add Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) billing applications, and our bandwidth needs increase, we'll just add high-speed WAN connections, such as ATM and swap in higher-bandwidth switching cards, such as the LANswitch Plus LSE-808s." Madge's LANswitch Plus LSE-808 modules offer switched, dedicated 10 Mbps bandwidth at each port; up to 128 10 Mbps ports can be installed in the LANswitch Plus hub.
The hubs which support the users are connected via 10BASE-FB Ethernet-over-fiber links to primary and backup hubs in the computer center (Shimamoto plans to replace Mercy's current Ethernet-over-fiber hub-to-hub connectivity with a collapsed FDDI backbone in the near future). The computer center houses PC servers running office and hospital management applications.
Mercy Hospital's computer center also contains a management console running Madge's comprehensive network management application. "Because the management software lets us manage networks remotely, it reduces the number of Information Technology personnel we need: it saves us much more than it cost," said Shimamoto.
Partnering with Madge to Improve Patient Care
Mercy Hospital's Information Technology group has two goals: improve patient care and reduce hospital costs. "We needed a reliable network infrastructure that would be cost-effective today, yet could support rapidly rising bandwidth requirements in the future," said Shimamoto. "With Madge's LANswitch Plus, that's exactly what we got."
"We needed a reliable network infrastructure that would be cost-effective today, yet could support rapidly rising bandwidth requirements in the future. With Madge's LANswitch Plus, that's exactly what we got."
Kevin Shimamoto
Director of Information Technology
Mercy Hospital
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