Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare created a campus-wide network that places the most advanced equipment and techniques in the hands of top medical talent and creates an intelligent medicine by design environment. The solutions integrate existing workflows with automated discovery, location awareness, and capacity utilization through improved infrastructure planning. The hospital now has a robust, reliable infrastructure to support patient-centered care, embrace new medical technologies, and allow for future growth with flexibility and scalability.

Elmhurst Hospital started plans for its new healthcare facility with a blank slate. The hospital was able to decide what they wanted to achieve, and then design the facility around that ultimate goal. “It allowed us to rethink every step of the patient experience, asking ‘how can we do this better?’ We knew if we focused on the patient, everything else would follow – including the most technologically advanced care. We have been given a tremendous opportunity to create a unique healing environment. Planning for this new campus has allowed us to rethink the care-giving process and ensure that we are creating a superior healing environment now and for years to come,” said Leo Fronza, who was CEO of Elmhurst Hospital at the time of construction.

Technology was an integral piece of the healthcare solution that Elmhurst Hospital wanted to offer the local community. A robust infrastructure assures Elmhurst Hospital that doctors can rely on the latest technological advances in medicine to treat patients, while patients have access to systems that make their stays more comfortable. These advances are smart from a business perspective, as it helps the hospital attract the best and brightest physicians and staff members, and positions the hospital within the region as the first choice for acute, emergency, and critical care. Toward that end, a key strategic goal of the project was to install an infrastructure that was robust, reliable, and scalable to support critical systems and provide staff and patients uninterrupted access to resources.

To address the needs of the hospital staff and patients, Panduit cable and Cisco switches drive the infrastructure, which includes a number of high-tech offerings, including an innovative nurse call system, physiological monitoring, video conferencing, radiology systems, internet access in all patient rooms, security cameras, and even a robotic surgical system. Wireless access points support an extensive wireless infrastructure within the facility, while stationary systems such as in-room computing and televisions, analog telephones, and refrigerator monitors are wired, freeing up wireless capacity for other devices.

The TX6A™ 10Gig Copper and Opticom® Fiber Backbone enable electronic medical records, X-rays, lab results, and other test results to be shared electronically. This provides up-to-the-minute information on patient care to the patient, physician, nurses, and other caregivers. The entire care team can securely view test results at the same time, despite being located in different places.

As information is documented into the patient’s medical record, alerts are sent to that patient’s nurse via a portable phone, enabling more efficient and accurate delivery of services. Caregivers spend more time at the patient’s bedside attending to their needs and less time at the nurses’ station. A computer next to the bed allows each member of the care team to review patient records and talk with the patient and family about the plan of care.The nurse call center system that is used in the hospital knows when a caregiver enters a patient room, and if the appropriate caregiver enters the room when there is an alarm, that alarm is cleared. The system sends reminders and escalates the alert as needed.

Patient beds are not only comfortable, but also smart. They feature translation modules that can translate more than 70languages in a pleasant voice, schedule medication alerts, and sense the patient’s movement to alert a nurse to come help the patient sit up or get out of bed.

In addition to these and other improvements in the speed and ease of care, patients of the Elmhurst Clinic, an affiliated physician practice, can manage prescriptions, appointments, and test results online through their own Next MD account.

Read the entire case history.