Silver Cross is leading the way with Quick, Reliable Technology
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates aren’t the only heroes when it comes to information connectivity and operability. The Silver Cross Information Technology (IT) team has been hard at work making sure the infrastructure is in place and all systems are functional when we open our new hospital on Feb. 26, 2012.
“We have spent the last three years developing our IT plan, which includes building a new data center, updating and creating new software applications and moving PCs and other equipment to the new campus,” says Kevin Lane, Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer. “With confirmation from several outside technology consultants, we are confident we have enough resources in place for a successful move.”
Our new wide area network that connects the New Lenox Campus to the Joliet Campus will not only be fast—moving 6GB of data back and forth in a split second, but also extremely reliable. Silver Cross Hospital’s new wide area network utilizes two different network technologies from two different companies. 4GB of the wide area network connection is wireless and has redundant antennas. The other 2GB connection utilizes fiber optic technology.
In building network infrastructure, our IT team has deployed the latest and greatest technology available. In fact, Silver Cross is the first hospital in the nation to use Panduit’s Intelligent Patch Panels. This state-of-the-art technology will help us to manage future risk and assess location problems easily from anywhere without bringing the entire network down.
Double Data Centers
Another way that we are decreasing the risk of any downtime is by operating two data centers for the next two years. The current data center is located in the Medical Arts Building and will continue to house the servers for Meditechand other applications which are directly tied to our core data system (Meditech). “We are in the process of selecting a new core system, which may or may not replace Meditech,” says Lane. “We will make a decision before we move, but not fully upgrade and relocate the servers until 2013.”
The majority of the 35-plus software applications will be housed in the new data center, which is already up and running in Pavilion A. Over the next two months, the IT team will be migrating and testing the many applications and even installing a few new ones for the Nurse Call system, infant monitoring, security and building access, MedQuist Speech Recognition and Transcription, and Pyxis.
Operating two data centers, switching to the new Cisco Voice Phone technology, and enhancing our Microsoft and Citrix systems also gives us redundancy—which in the IT world is so very important,” says Bill Bisch, Director of Technical Services. “If something goes down, this automatically kicks in. No data will be lost.”
New Equipment Supports Patient Family-Centered Care Model
Now that we have taken ownership of the replacement hospital, the Information Technology team has begun installing new equipment such as computers in every patient room for bedside charting and reporting by caregivers. In addition, each room will be equipped with a Nurse Call System, allowing for more frequent communication between the nurse and patients.
IT has teamed up with Nursing Leadership to develop a nurse communication system that utilizes wireless Smartphones, allowing caregivers to be mobile throughout the hospital, yet still be immediately accessible. The Smartphones have a new text messaging feature to help decrease the noise level—an important aspect of the patient-family centered care experience. Also various approved medical applications can be accessed on the nurse communication device.
Information Technology is also installing several Smart Boards inside the Procedural Care Unit to increase communication amongst staff. “Everyone will be on the same page, with the new Smart Boards,” says Jesse Rojo, Director of Information Technology. “Technology like this enables users to better control quality and patient satisfaction.”
Other important information nuances include the addition of electronic way-finding kiosks in the Hospital’s main lobby and also Pavilion A lobby. And, there is a video wall art feature in the Lobby that will display nature photos to help immediately calm patients and visitors as they enter through the front doors.
“Everything that we have done is with the end-user in mind,” says Rojo. “Just like the rest of our colleagues, at the end of the day, our goal is to create an unrivaled healthcare experience for our patients.”