NSW hospitals upgrade networking, unified comms

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NSW hospitals upgrade networking, unified comms

Northern Sydney Central Coast Health (NSCCH) has awarded HP a $1.15m networking contract, while Prince of Wales (PoW) has chosen Siemens OpenScape UC server to transition to IP communications.

HP will build a networking solution for a new twelve-storey, $99 million facility, the Kolling Building, for medical research and education at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) in Sydney.

The hospital needed high speed connectivity and secure deployment of voice, video and data in a high-performance environment.

HP’s solution includes IP Telephony and core switching based around Cisco products, and incorporates wireless LAN coverage of the entire building, providing NSCCH with the platform to adopt Unified Communications.

“Hospital facilities need IT infrastructure that can be relied on around the clock,” said RNSH Redevelopment Project Acting Director – Planning, Deb Stewart.

“HP’s solution will help deliver faster and more reliable services to our research and education staff in the Kolling Building, and improve the efficiency of their day-to-day operations,” she said.

The Kolling Building is one of the first projects for NSCCH in its $950 million redevelopment of the Royal North Shore Hospital campus, a collaboration between the NSW Government and the University of Sydney.

The building includes a new auditorium and interactive lecture theatre, a high-tech new clinical skills simulation centre for medical training, six floors of wet-lab research space and a new clinical library.

Meanwhile, the Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute (POWMRI) has chosen Siemens OpenScape UC Server to help it transition to IP technology.

POWMRI claims to be one of the largest specialty medical research institutes in Australia, with a focus on neuroscience. It plans to expand to four times its current size over the next few years.

POWMRI has purchased 100 OpenScape licenses, which it expects to expand to 500 in less than two years. The new system will run alongside its existing Siemens digital TDM system and will be implemented by Commander.

“Key drivers for us were flexibility for future growth and cost savings – we were literally running out of capacity with our old system, but were looking for a flexible system that would help position ourselves for growth,” said POWMRI IT Manager Andrew Cartwright.

“Siemens in particular has a completely open standards design making it compatible with any other system. It can also extend and integrate more easily so you’re less locked into doing things one way.

Cartwright said an exciting feature of the system would allow the Institute’s researchers to monitor laboratory equipment performance in real-time.

“A real plus for the research team is that they will be able to use OpenScape handsets to monitor the performance of their special freezers and liquid nitrogen which they use to store human tissue. If these machines malfunction, an alarm can immediately sound through the handset,” he explained.

“Overall we are getting everything and more than we expected from the system. In research, you are investigating the unknown, so there is a tremendous need for flexibility. This has an upstream effect and means IT systems have to echo that flexibility – Siemens has been able to do this very effectively,” he said.

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