Royal Brompton & Harefield trust uses Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise technology improve clinical care

Dynamic management connects wireless devices to the best access point as clinicians move from ward to ward

The Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust (RBHT) is completing the transformation of its IT network with Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) technology by upgrading its entire network edge.

Having completed the upgrade of its core network in the first phase, the edge network phase has been designed to ensure network performance is maintained right the way across the entire network - wired and wireless.

The completed network will be fully secure right up to the edge and has the ability to deliver performance to support clinical-quality data, video and voice applications for healthcare providers whether at the desk, by the bedside, or on the move. The new technology will also provide the platform to develop advanced application services such as electronic prescriptions and patient record management, future-proofing the ability of the RBHT to deliver the latest technological developments in healthcare.

Long-standing partner and winner of the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Global Partner of the Year Award, Khipu Networks, has been chosen to complete the upgrade with the Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch 6450, which delivers improved 10g uplinks right to the edge of the network.

The finalised network should serve as a blueprint for other healthcare providers demonstrating how modern IT resources can support and improve clinical practice and save valuable time

The mobile nature of healthcare providers work requires a more-dynamic approach to network access and the new network supports Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise access points (AP) using ClientMatch technology to ensure that devices are connected to the most-appropriate AP, preventing the Wi-Fi network from slowing down as clinicians move between patients and wards.

Joanna Smith, the trust’s chief information officer, said: “In simple terms, all the work we are doing with our IT network is to serve one purpose - leveraging IT to better support our clinicians to improve our ability to deliver care, and provide the best-possible treatment for our patients. It's not just enabling clinicians to walk from bed to bed confident that they have uninterrupted access to patient records, but, for example, our network now enables us to ensure we can provide constant telemetry monitoring, which means we can get our patients out of bed more often which has a positive benefit to their recovery.

"We have a clear vision for the future of our hospitals, and now we have the infrastructure to support it.”

It's not just enabling clinicians to walk from bed to bed confident that they have uninterrupted access to patient records, but, for example, our network now enables us to ensure we can provide constant telemetry monitoring, which means we can get our patients out of bed more often

Neal Humphrey, healthcare direct touch account manager at ALE UK and Ireland, added: “The finalised network should serve as a blueprint for other healthcare providers demonstrating how modern IT resources can support and improve clinical practice and save valuable time. The IT team at RBHT has looked at how IT is developing and have a real understanding of how new applications and services are changing healthcare delivery and the digital transformation that is taking place. To ensure the levels of network security and connectivity required in a clinical environment you need to look at the whole network, from device to data centre."

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