UK private hospital firm Aspen Healthcare has completed the deployment of its Meru Uninterrupted Care SDN-capable wireless network to enable seamless roaming and end-to-end quality of service for voice over Wi-Fi.
The initial deployment at one hospital will ultimately be extended to three others and multiple clinics. The deployment also includes Meru Network Manager.
Aspen Healthcare is the owner and operator of four private acute care hospitals in London and Sheffield, an outpatient cancer centre providing both chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and ambulatory surgical centres in Edinburgh and Solihull, West Midlands.
“The Aspen Healthcare portfolio is growing quickly and our goal is to provide patients and visitors with the very best facilities, including the wireless network,” said David Williams, IT director at Aspen Healthcare.
“Wi-Fi is no longer a nice-to-have, but an essential service and an integral part of what we do as a business and as a healthcare provider. Our patients expect the best and this means fast, seamless data roaming and voice over Wi-Fi connections, whether as an outpatient in the waiting room or an inpatient in the hospital.”
Aspen Healthcare’s IT team worked with Meru Gold partner Building Zones on a proof-of-concept at its Holly House Hospital facility (see photo above: pic courtesy of LSI Architects) after evaluating the Meru solution against other wireless networking providers, including Meraki.
Meru’s high-density device-handling capabilities were an ideal match to the company’s ambitious plans to deploy a robust, future-proofed Wi-Fi infrastructure developed with voice and data mobility in mind.
The group’s use of Meru Network Manager helps its IT department maintain detailed visibility and control over its fast-expanding Wi-Fi network. Meru Network Manager is a centralised network management software application for Meru wireless LANs.
It provides network-wide monitoring, end-to-end visibility and powerful control of wireless deployments. Its intuitive, web-based interface delivers superior ease-of-use and offers instant access to real-time and historical performance metrics on each managed controller, access point and client.
Meru Network Manager is an integral component of Meru Center, a new software platform that gives organisations a central networked application provisioning engine and management dashboard.
The Meru ‘Uninterrupted Care Network’
Meru’s Uninterrupted Care Network (UCN) enables hospitals to create separate Wi-Fi channel layers. This allows hospitals to offer the benefits of mobility for Wi-Fi enabled “Life Critical” devices, such as telemetry, and to help ensure reliable connectivity for those devices on their own dedicated RF channels.
Three Layers of UCN
Life Critical: One set of wireless channels can be dedicated for “Life Critical” applications and devices like smart infusion pumps and Wi-Fi enabled telemetry devices and for carrying wireless traffic associated only with these applications. Centralised monitoring conducted by Wi-Fi enabled devices is not only designed to improve clinician productivity, but may also help hospitals improve patient safety.
Mission Critical: A second channel layer can be dedicated for “Mission Critical” applications and devices to provide reliable connectivity and QoS for mobile enterprise applications such as EMR, VoIP, Citrix-based CPOE and barcode medicine administration. This is designed to improve clinician productivity and increase patient satisfaction.
Consumer Critical: UCN can also provide a “Consumer Critical” layer, to enable patients to connect with friends and family using the Internet. Such family interaction has been shown to positively impact patient mood and treatment outcome, improving patient satisfaction scores.
“Aspen Healthcare's deployment leverages Meru's high performing SDN-capable intelligent Wi-Fi solution to provide uninterrupted healthcare,” said Sarosh Vesuna, vice president and general manager of Meru’s Enterprise Networking Business.
“The Meru solution is a unique selling point for patients, clinicians, staff and guests, and offers a reliable and ubiquitous, mobile environment in which to provide the very best care. With the Meru Uninterrupted Care Network, Aspen can quickly and easily scale its wireless capacity and coverage to on-board new applications and users as it continues to expand its healthcare facilities.”