Case Study: Wireless Upgrade at Madera Community Hospital

Case Study: Wireless Upgrade at Madera Community Hospital

About the Client

Name
Madera Community Hospital

Location
Madera, CA

Industry
Healthcare

Number of Employees
1000+

Main Outcomes

Better wireless coverage
Advanced features

Solution

MR52 access points

The Problem

Madera Community Hospital (MCH) is the primary hospital serving the community within Madera County. The hospital’s existing wireless was end-of-life and no longer supported any of the newer wireless technologies now available. In addition, there were coverage issues in many spots, and some of the newer medical technologies that MCH wanted to roll out, such as wireless EKG machines, were being hampered by poor coverage. MCH decided it was time for a wireless refresh.

The Challenge

The main challenge in a hospital environment is the lack of automatic maintenance windows during off-hours, due to 24/7 operations. It is difficult to phase-in a new wireless solution over an existing one in a large building. There are too many devices that are dependent on the existing wireless system, and a phased cutover or parallel cutover only creates interference between both systems. It is also difficult to do any testing on the new system without creating interference on the existing system.

Another challenge was with the radiology department, where there are lead walls which cause very low signal penetration. This significantly limits the coverage an access point can provide.

The Solution

To make sure we had a properly designed system, we used our Ekahau wireless survey tools and a physical site survey to perform a predictive survey. This enabled us to get a clear understanding of where access points would need to be placed to provide the desired coverage. With the survey information we created a bill of materials that met the requirements. The chosen solution was based on a Meraki cloud platform with 124 MR52 access points throughout the campus.

MCH opted to have every new access point wired and mounted prior to cutover. This made the transition relatively seamless, and it was completed during a single maintenance window on a slower night mid-week. Prior to the main hospital being cutover, Telcion worked with the MCH IT team to install access points in some of the outlying buildings where we could test all of the applications and devices on the new system prior to the main hospital moving over. With 90 access points in the main hospital, testing all devices prior was important as rolling back would be time consuming.

Once the cutover was completed, Telcion embarked on completing an active wireless survey using our Ekahau Sidekick to measure signal and coverage and provide post-implementation survey reports.

Ekahau post-implementation survey reports

 
 

Additional Reading
Why Your Data Center Needs Environmental Sensors