Oklahoma’s County Hospital relies on Brocade to better serve patients

Brocade-logoBangalore, India, August 25, 2014: To provide the infrastructure for a future emergency department and the transition to a McKesson Electronic Health Record (EHR) system, Comanche County Memorial Hospital, turned to Brocade to deploy a new high-performance end-to-end data center network. Delivering a tenfold increase in network capacity and creating a fully redundant network architecture that scales to meet future data and device demands, the new environment provides residents of Southwest Oklahoma with advanced, comprehensive healthcare services.

Comanche County Memorial Hospital, one of the largest county hospitals in Oklahoma, specializes in major and minor healthcare services, including obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology, neurology, orthopedic, surgical, family, rehabilitation, and emergency services. The hospital, with more than 1,500 staff members and 250 physicians, required a network solution that would enable a broader set of patient services, increased delivery speed of patient care, and extended communication services to emergency rooms and other hospital facilities.

James Wellman, Chief Information Officer at Comanche County Memorial Hospital said that a robust network is pivotal in helping the hospital maintain its core mission of helping its employees and patients live better, healthier lives.  

“Support from family and friends can be the best medicine for our patients, so we’ve made it our goal to keep families closer to home by investing in improving our technology and facilities,” Wellman said. “The hospital is always expanding its network of services, embracing change continually to improve service through growth, expansion, and the addition of improvements in technology and specialty care.” 

During the last 40 years, patient load at Comanche’s emergency department has increased from 40 patients per day to approximately 55,000 visits annually. As such, the hospital is building a new 36-bed emergency department, slated for completion in spring 2015, that will offer the best available technology and state-of-the art facilities for patients and visitors. Telemedicine carts will help the new emergency department respond to patient health needs faster by making data accessible anywhere in the hospital—from the emergency check-in desk to the radiology department, and every other department, for a seamless patient experience.

With a 20 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) network backbone, the hospital can support the latest advances in telemedicine and radiology, while implementing cost-saving business applications such as Voice over IP (VoIP).

The demands of the new department—plus an urgent need for improvements in storage capacity, backup capabilities, and data center efficiency—initially brought Comanche County Memorial Hospital to Brocade. Working with Brocade partner T2 Technology Group, the hospital deployed an end-to-end networking environment consisting of Brocade Gen 5 Fibre Channel SAN switches, Brocade MLX routers, and Brocade FCX and Brocade ICX switches. The new infrastructure almost immediately delivered a tenfold increase in network capacity and created a fully redundant network architecture that could scale to meet the hospital’s future needs.

“As the hospital adds new systems, we can bring in more networking gear and drop more cabling easily to support our improvements,” said Jeremy Wood, Network Administrator at Comanche Memorial Hospital. “We know Brocade won’t limit our technology choices because the gear is based on industry standards rather than proprietary protocols. We can leverage that openness when we bring in other platforms and systems.” 

The hospital and the network are on track for more growth that will enhance the comprehensive healthcare services available to residents in Southwest Oklahoma. By combining the personal care patients want with state-of-the-art technologies and facilities, Comanche County Memorial Hospital is maintaining its long tradition of excellence in healthcare and continuing to enhance the quality of life for its community.

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