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Healthcare providers are increasingly turning to information technology to address major trends sweeping the healthcare industry, such as:

In fact, a recent survey of 200 healthcare IT professionals and 202 caregivers -- doctors and nurses -- at large hospitals found that 84 percent of caregivers believe health care IT improves the care of patients. The same survey also found that hospitals fail to realize the full benefits of their IT systems. For example, they correctly emphasize investments in endpoints, but they do not make adequate investments in the networking, compute and storage infrastructure.

Cisco has partnered with industry leader Hill-Rom to bridge this divide between endpoint systems/applications and networking/compute infrastructure. Cisco leads the industry in Ethernet switching for enterprise networks, and now offers the same standards-based switching technology for medical networks through Cisco UPOE Healthcare Solution in partnership with Hill-Rom. Healthcare providers can now eliminate the cost and complexity of managing separate corporate and medical networks by converging them into one Cisco network. The Cisco UPOE Healthcare Solution includes:

Customers can pick and choose the components they want to deploy for their use case. In addition to driving a “single view” of the entire network by converging corporate and medical networks into one network, the solution also helps deliver centralized policy with distributed enforcement through Cisco Identity Services Engine. Cisco UPOE eliminates wall circuits for endpoints, while delivering resilient network power. Cisco Catalyst 4500E enables the resiliency needed through capabilities such as In Service Software Upgrade, Nonstop Forwarding and Stateful Switchover.

The solution is currently in trials at selected customers, and is expected to be available by the end of 2012. The solution is already generating excitement among our customers. Here is what one customer has to say:

As Stanford Hospital continues to deliver leading-edge patient care, we see tremendous promise in the combined Cisco and Hill-Rom solution which converges campus and medical networks into one Cisco network. We are looking forward to evaluating the unified solution which leverages Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches and Cisco UPOE to bring together powerful technologies for nurse call systems, mobile communications, security policy, virtual desktops, switches, and servers to simplify operations and improve collaboration for superior patient outcomes.

– Don Fisher, Manager, Mobile Computing, Stanford Hospital

What do you think? Will Cisco UPOE Healthcare Solution help you deal with some of the challenges you are facing in your IT infrastructure?

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