There’s never an easy day in a hospital. When you have an IT infrastructure that is outdated and prone to breakdowns, a difficult job in the best circumstances can become a disheartened mess.

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Roper St. Francis (RSF) is one of South Carolina’s leading healthcare organizations and is in the top 10% of hospitals in the United States. The RSF group is made up of three hospitals, 110 facilities and employs 5500 people and is growing. That growth comes with issues, as acquisitions have created confusion with 50 different phone and key systems and no real consistent Wi-Fi network.

The lack of a strong Wi-Fi network was the most troubling task facing RSF as doctors and staff had a difficult time finishing even their easiest jobs in a timely manner. Whether it was viewing patient records or documenting patient’s vital signs, the Wi-Fi network couldn’t keep up with the strain of the day-to-day tasks. Add in the countless mobile devices competing for the same bandwidth and the network often lost connectivity—usually at the most inopportune times.

To put it politely, the staff at RSF was feeling frustrated.

Cisco’s solution of replacing all current access points with Cisco Aironet 3700 Access Points (AP), adding more APs, switches and other networking devices to a new wireless network infrastructure, solved the connectivity problem. The antiquated phone system was rebuilt as part of the organization-wide upgrade.

With the connectivity issues fixed, the IT department could stop spending most of their time putting out networking fires and focusing on strategic network upgrades for the future. This includes an Interactive Patient Experience application.

“This foundation has allowed us to focus on the future,” said RSF Director of Technical Services Joe Skelley. “We’re working on a state-of-the-art ‘concierge’ experience for patients and visitors and incorporating wearable devices into acute care. As new technology becomes available, we won’t need time to gear up. We’re ready now.”

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Byron Magrane

Product Manager, Marketing