Bruce Meyer, technical coordinator for the voice-and-data infrastructure at ProMedica Health Systems, installed a new voice network for ProMedica's new Toledo hospital campus.
When ProMedica Health Systems
of Ohio and Michigan broke ground on its largest construction effort to date - a state-of-the-art campus at Toledo Hospital
and Toledo Children's Hospital
- it also overhauled its 20-year-old phone system, deploying a voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) network.
"We knew that VoIP technology promised countless business benefits well suited to healthcare services," explains Bruce Meyer, technical coordinator for the voice-and-data infrastructure at ProMedica Health Systems.
The real-time demands of both voice and data on a single network posed a potential threat, and assuring that the existing Ethernet network was prepared to handle those demands was a top priority for Meyer
"Running the assessment and documenting the results gave us peace of mind and the ability to demonstrate to others that our network was ready to support this new communication system," says Meyer
"We were able to confirm proper configuration of our network, along with our readiness for VoIP traffic.
"Constant performance monitoring is essential for our hospitals, as we absolutely cannot afford downtime," he
"Alarm maintenance is also necessary for our main areas, as well as the various branches we plan to build.
"We currently leverage a systems log with switches that send numerous alerts when events occur - including phone reboots," Meyer
"To help manage the influx of alerts and distinguish those needing attention, we leverage management tools to intelligently determine those alerts that exceed our established baselines.
Anything out of the ordinary is sent to one of three IT administrators via e-mail, and they can prioritize and respond as necessary."
By eliminating excess noise and redundancy with intelligent reporting, ProMedica technology administrators save many hours that would otherwise be dedicated to determining which events pose true threats to call quality and delivery.
"Alarms that we initially set indicated early on that we experienced intermittent call-quality issues when we first deployed our carrier system," Meyer
I don't believe we could have identified and fixed the issue without any disruptions had we not put the proper solutions in place to comprehensively manage our VoIP lifecycle," Meyer
By effectively assessing their network prior to deployment and consistently monitoring performance and availability to prevent prolonged service issues, Meyer
team offset any initial doubts raised about this new VoIP deployment.