VAR's VoIP Install Saves Healthcare Client $125,000 A Year
FirstHealth is a healthcare organization with three hospitals, in addition to clinics, emergency medical services, and health and fitness centers located throughout 15 counties in the Carolinas. After experiencing difficulty finding maintenance support for its unreliable private branch exchange (PBX) system, the company began searching for a new telephony system. Instead of investing in another PBX system, FirstHealth sought a solution that would provide more reliable communications and support future growth. Datanet Services Incorporated (DSi), an Xcelecom company with headquarters in Greensboro, NC, was helping FirstHealth with another issue and engaged the healthcare provider about VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). FirstHealth's director of network services had already researched VoIP and, with DSi's help, provided a proposal to his executive staff to make the move to VoIP.
Add Wireless Functionality To Your Client's VoIP Solution
After familiarizing itself with FirstHealth's needs and objectives, DSi designed and deployed a Cisco AVVID (architecture for voice, video, and integrated data) platform solution, including Cisco Unity unified messaging and a wireless network. The solution also included Cisco Catalyst 4000 Series switches, which were upgraded to support inline power. Other hardware included 1,500 IP phones, 227 wireless IP phones, and 1,000 analog ports for patient rooms. DSi also worked with FirstHealth and Cisco Systems to enable FirstHealth's wireless network to support VoIP.
The hospital requested that DSi deploy the new solution in phases over a 12-month period. FirstHealth wanted to help ensure every department understood the new phones and their capabilities. "We assigned a project manager to work on-site at the hospital," says Terry Cavanaugh, IP communications specialist for DSi. "The project manager educated staff members on the impact of wireless IP voice technology and how it could benefit FirstHealth clinicians who travel among the healthcare sites."
The VoIP solution makes all FirstHealth employees more productive and more responsive. For example, paging systems previously created communications delays of a few minutes. Now, wireless IP phones allow clinicians to receive calls instantly, making them more attentive to patients and nurses. While FirstHealth is enjoying the reliability and added functionality of its new network, the system is saving the healthcare provider nearly $125,000 annually in maintenance, scalability, upgrades, and MACs (moves, adds, and changes).