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Torrance Memorial Medical Center Expands Healthcare Services with Aruba Networks 802.11ac Wireless LAN

January 31, 2014

Aruba Networks, a provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise, announced that Torrance Memorial Medical Center, a 401-bed, non-profit medical center in Los Angeles County, is deploying an Aruba wireless LAN (WLAN) to modernize its existing hospital building and six adjacent facilities, and to deliver wireless connectivity for its new medical tower, slated to open in 2014.

According to a release, the new tower, which will house hospital, surgical centers and specialized care and treatment centers, is a healthcare facility outfitted with an all-802.11ac wireless network.

With 3,500 employees including 900 physicians on staff, a volunteer population, and approximately 23,000 patients treated annually, Torrance Memorial noted it is seeing a rapid increase in wireless and mobile devices including new medical equipment on the network. Although the medical center already had an Aruba WLAN in place in all eight of its existing buildings, the increased number and density of devices, along with the construction of the new tower, demanded a campus-wide transformation.

"Putting a future-proof infrastructure in place was a high priority for us," said Steve Lantz, Director of IT Infrastructure and Operations. "The demand for wireless is increasing, the number of mobile devices - both personal and medical - is surging and therefore, the WLAN is a business-critical component of our business operations and ultimately, the success of our organization."

Already a satisfied Aruba Networks customer, Lantz again turned to Aruba. The existing facilities will be upgraded using a mix of Aruba 802.11n access points for those areas that currently use 802.11a/b/g and approximately 350 Aruba AP-220 Series 802.11ac access points for mission critical areas. The new tower will use 400 Aruba AP-220 Series 802.11ac access points, making it one of the first healthcare facilities in the U.S. to deploy 802.11ac throughout an entire facility.

Torrance Memorial also has two remote Physician Office Support Services (POSS) centers that have deployed Aruba Instant controller- less access points to support a wide range of real-time applications that its staff and physicians use. In addition, the organization is using Aruba AirWave for network management and Aruba's ClearPass Access Management System to deliver secure, guest access and, in the future, to further enable Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) for the hospital.

According to Lantz, the primary goals for the new and upgraded network are to improve efficiencies and drive down costs. "More than 1,000 wireless and mobile devices access our network daily. As we implement new applications like Electronic Medical Records (EMR) for which we'll likely use iPads or other tablets, and barcode medication administration which requires a wireless barcode reader in every room, the numbers will continue to skyrocket. Upgrading our network to ensure that these devices can easily and securely access the network leads to better productivity for nurses, administrators and physicians and improved patient care. In turn, our bottom line looks much better as we eliminate many of the costs associated with our older, more manual systems," said Lantz.

Currently, Torrance Memorial's physicians and medical personnel access the network via PCs or Wireless-on-Wheels (WoW) carts that contain laptops and other devices. In most cases, personnel log onto the network from wherever they are and with whatever devices are closest to them at the time. Once the infrastructure is fully upgraded to 802.11ac, Torrance Memorial envisions moving to mobile devices such as tablets that staff can carry with them throughout the facility.

A variety of wireless medical devices are already attached to the network including infusion pumps and wireless printers, and the medical center foresees the addition of even more of these devices, including wireless barcode scanners and EMR tablets, once the upgrade network is in place. In the new tower, the all 802.11ac- based infrastructure will support a wide variety of applications including streaming video for the facility's nuclear medicine, diagnostic radiology, dialysis, cath lab and in-patient radiology departments.

"Torrance Memorial prides itself on having the expertise and technology to deliver the best medical care possible," continued Lantz. "With the Aruba infrastructure in place, we now have the right foundation to do so."

"Increasingly, healthcare organizations like Torrance Memorial are turning to Aruba, recognizing that a reliable, high-performance wireless infrastructure can have a significant impact on the organization's productivity and more importantly, patient care," said Glenn Ferreira, Area Vice President, Aruba Networks.

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