Notts NHS rolls out medical-grade network

Nottingham University Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Trust has signed a multimillion-pound agreement to use Cisco technology to help it reduce costs, improve access to healthcare information and provide patients with faster and more efficient services.

The UK's fourth largest hospital is expected to roll out one of the most advanced end-to-end medical-grade networks based on Cisco technology to support a number of applications involved in the delivery of healthcare services.

The project, which includes fixed and wireless networking, security and location-based services, kicks off this month and is earmarked for completion by March 2010.

The trust said the wireless network would be particularly key to providing real-time access to information at the point of delivery of patient care and ensure clinicians can be contacted anywhere on campus.

The network infrastructure will also support the implementation of radio frequency identification (RFID) based systems to monitor and locate hospital equipment more efficiently and accurately.

Ian Smith, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust head of service design and innovation, said: "The Cisco medical-grade network will help the Trust transform the way we deliver healthcare by enabling us to readily and cost-effectively exploit the capability of new technologies that can genuinely help improve patient care, such as helping to reduce overall patient waiting times and reducing the need for patients to duplicate information by providing access to all relevant information at the point of care."

Smith said the plan was to provide an infrastructure platform to speed access, sharing, efficiency and security of information systems accessed by clinical staff.

"The Cisco technology will help the Trust capture cost efficiencies, help increase the coordination and integration of care across organisational boundaries, enable greater collaboration of clinical teams to deliver more efficient and effective care, and reconfigure service delivery towards more out-patient, day patient and community care," added Smith.

Networking technologies provided by Cisco will include its Catalyst 6500 and 3750 Series switches, Cisco Unified Communications Manager and CallManager systems and collaboration tools such as Cisco Unified MeetingPlace, security products such as its network access control (NAC) appliance and wireless networking equipment, mainly made up of the Cisco Aironet 1130 AG Series.

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Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

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