Patton-Fuller Community Hospital
November 24, 2011
Patton-Fuller Community Hospital (PFCH) was established in 1975 and is a for-profit hospital dedicated to serving the needs of its community by providing quality medical care. PFCH operates a 600-bed full-service hospital, providing a variety of programs (Apollo Group, 2006, 2010, 2011). PFCH uses several network systems, including wireless technology.
Multiple technologies are necessary to be used and combined to create a healthcare network infrastructure. Ideally, each of these technologies should integrate into a cohesive network platform capable of delivering network services that are protected, resilient, responsive, and interactive. It is the interconnection and combination of these technologies that provide value and enable clinical and business capabilities in the healthcare environment. PFCH is interested in examining how their network is performing as compared to similar companies.
In-House Data Transmission
PFCHs backbone network structure consists of a 1000Base-T and 1000Base-F standards. The 1000Base-T standard supports data transfer rates up to 1000 Mbps, or one gigabyte per second, and is used in the non-clinical areas of the hospital. PFCH is employing a CAT 6 cable infrastructure for these administrative areas. The clinical areas use the 1000Base-F standard, which is also a 1000 Mbps specification for Ethernet communications over optical fibers. PFCH is currently using single mode optical fiber cable infrastructure for its clinical areas.
The administrative areas are joined to the clinical areas via a network bridge. The administration network is composed primarily of Apple iMAC workstations, HP L1706 thin client computers, and a total of three network laser prints. The OR, ICU, and Ward floors also feature Apple iMAC workstations in both the OR and nurses stations with the RIS imaging utilizing Apple MAC PRO workstations. Each room has one network drop per bed, and at least one Wireless Access Point (WAP) per ICU area. A 24-port hub is used per Ward or ICU. One network printer per nurses station are also deployed.
The Radiology department includes many pieces of medical equipment that require an IP address such as the modality viewing stations, MRI, CT, X-Ray, Mammograms, PET, nuclear medicine, and Sonography. Each modality has its own viewing station complete with an Apple MAC and digital-to-film network printer. The emergency room has one workstation per bay with the portable X-Ray machine, and one regular workstation per ER bay. The laboratories contain networked workstations, and one color laser printer per lab. Pharmacy rounds out the Radiology department with networked workstations, and one laser printer.
The RIS Data Center is outfitted with Apple iMAC workstations, Apple cluster servers running PACS connected to 10 terabytes of storage via a four gigabyte fiber link and backed up to an APC UPS. The center contains one network printer, and one networked laser DICOM to film printer.
Administrative and clinical areas join the IT Data Center via the bridge appliance. The data center contains the hospital HIS system computer, which is an IBM series Z9EC mainframe. The mainframe is connected to a 10 terabyte NAS via a four gigabyte fiber link and is backed up to an APC UPS. The data center runs one Windows Exchange server for its e-mail, and an IBM System x3250 server for Internet services. The Internet server is connected to a Cisco 7609 router, and a RAS server is connected to a Cisco ASA 5510 VPN Router.
External Data Transmission
The hospital HIS system mainframe, Windows exchange server hosting PFHC’s e-mail, Internet server, and RAS server are cabled to 1000 Base-T category 6 Ethernet cable to a pair of routers, one of which is for VPN services, and finally are attached to PFHC’s network gateway, then out to...