Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company (NYSE: HPE), today announced that Faith Regional Health Services, a Nebraska-based healthcare provider, has deployed an Aruba ESP-based network to enable a host of capabilities that will help its physicians and nurses deliver outstanding patient care. With its new infrastructure, Faith Regional is enabling secure IoT for devices, ensuring reliable connectivity across its entire hospital system including its specialty clinics, and innovating with its new location-enhanced Faith Regional Direct mobile app to provide new services like easy navigation of its facilities to patients, visitors, and staff.
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To improve the healthcare experience for patients and families as well as physicians and staff, Faith Regional launched a new mobile app, Faith Regional Direct, which is powered by Aruba technology. Photo: Faith Regional Health Services
Faith Regional includes a 128-bed acute care hospital, surgery center, long-term care facility, and a multi-specialty physician group comprised of over 100 providers in 27 specialities with locations across northeastern Nebraska. In 2020, the health provider earned a prestigious CHIME (College of Healthcare Information Management Executives) Digital Health Most Wired award, certifying Faith Regional as a level 9 out of 10 for effectively applying technology in its clinical and business program to improve healthcare in its community.
“Nearly everything implemented in the hospital setting has an IT component,” said Faith Regional CIO, Brian Sterud. “This standard requires a stable and secure infrastructure for day-to-day operations and for continual improvement of our patients’ care and experiences.”
When Faith Regional’s existing network infrastructure was unable to provide the high levels of reliability and performance it required, Sterud and his team turned to Aruba. The IT team deployed Aruba Access Points (APs), Remote Access Points (RAPs) to enable remote working and telemedicine, access switches, as well as CX Series switches for their data center, ClearPass for wired and wireless network access control (NAC) and policy management, and Aruba Location-based Services to enable wayfinding through its new mobile app.
ClearPass Securely Connects All Types of IoT Devices for Optimal Patient Care
Faith Regional’s vision is that everything will be connected to the network from smartphones and laptops to infusion pumps, imaging devices like MRI machines and CT scanners, vital signs machines, barcode scanners for matching patients to medications to ensure correct dosing, and other diagnostic systems.
“It has become expected that almost anything new we add and use in a healthcare setting has the ability to connect to our network,” Sterud said. “So our Aruba infrastructure – in particular, ClearPass – is critical for securely connecting these devices, managing policies, and enabling better visibility and enforcement capabilities. We really view ClearPass as the heartbeat of the network, driving our digital transformation and enabling better patient outcomes.”
Faith Regional is already seeing that the connection of equipment that captures patient vitals to the network has automated a previously labor-intensive process, allowing nurses more time to care for their patients, and reducing errors associated with manual data entry.
Location-enabled Mobile App Enhances Patient, Visitor and Staff Experiences
To further improve the healthcare experience for patients and families as well as physicians and staff, Faith Regional launched a new mobile app, Faith Regional Direct, in December 2020. The mobile app leverages Aruba Location Services including Meridian and the location-ready Aruba APs to provide wayfinding on Faith Regional’s main campus. Through the app, visitors can more easily navigate the large and often confusing hospital campus. According to Shantell Skalberg, Executive Director of Marketing, PR and Foundation for Faith Regional, the app has been a huge success.
“We’re already seeing an enthusiastic response to the mobile app and specifically, to the use of wayfinding on our main campus,” Skalberg said. “In the near future, we’ll look to expand the app and its navigation capabilities to other locations within our health system, as well as possibly utilize our Aruba Location-based Services for more use cases such as asset tracking.”
Clinics Use RAPs to Scale Telemedicine and Deliver Consistent Experiences During the COVID-19 Crisis
Like most healthcare organizations, Faith Regional had to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic quickly, ensuring patients had access to telemedicine and that staff in remote clinics could access the information and resources they needed from any location. The Aruba RAPs played a significant role in allowing not only Faith Regional’s speciality clinics, but also partner and affiliate hospitals and clinics, to maintain productivity by providing access to Faith Regional’s Epic EMR (Electronic Medical Records) system, and by creating a consistent user experience across all locations. This was particularly crucial when telehealth became a primary vehicle for patient care during the pandemic. Although Faith Regional had already begun to accelerate its telehealth program, with the new Aruba network, the IT team was able to meet the increased, pandemic-driven demand, and shattered its goals for completed visits within the first few months.
As Faith Regional’s IT team continues to evolve its infrastructure, Sterud says its guiding principle will always be improving patient care and experiences.
“The bottom line is that having a more modern, advanced and intelligent network lets us continue to innovate, resulting in improved patient experiences and outcomes. That’s the primary benefit Aruba delivers to our organization.”
About Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is the global leader in secure, intelligent edge-to-cloud networking solutions that use AI to automate the network, while harnessing data to drive powerful business outcomes. With Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) and as-a-service options, Aruba takes a cloud-native approach to helping customers meet their connectivity, security, and financial requirements across campus, branch, data center, and remote worker environments, covering all aspects of wired, wireless LAN, and wide area networking (WAN).
To learn more, visit Aruba at www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates, follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products, visit the Airheads Community at community.arubanetworks.com.