News Column

ACTS Retirement-Life Communities Connects Staff, Improves Resident Care and Satisfaction with Aruba Networks WLAN

May 21, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Telecommunications Weekly -- Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN) announced that ACTS Retirement-Life Communities, Inc., a leader in life care living since 1972, is implementing a unified wired and wireless network based on Aruba's MOVE architecture. With the new network in place, ACTS is moving toward its vision of having all staff connected via mobile devices to improve resident care and hospitality, while giving residents the ability to stay connected with friends and family.

ACTS operates a range of communities in its 28 locations, employing almost 6,200 staff and serving more than 8,000 residents. The organization operates continuing care retirement communities encompassing independent, assisted living, and skilled care. Having a cost-effective networking solution that could answer the needs of both residents and staff across their continuum including nurses and doctors in their skilled care environments was a challenge that ACTS' existing wireless network could not handle. ACTS began the search for an enterprise-class solution that could serve all of its communities, as well as the company's regional offices and headquarters in West Point, Pennsylvania. After an initial Request for Information (RFI) that was narrowed down to a more thorough evaluation of four vendors, ACTS selected Aruba Networks as its preferred vendor.

"The key for us was selecting a vendor that could support both our current environment, as well as our future plans," said James Clark, Corporate Director of Technology for ACTS Retirement-Life Communities. "Aruba's Instant Controller-less solution was far and above the most cost-effective way to deploy wireless for our distributed environment while still gaining enterprise-class functionality and ease of use. From a business perspective, the Aruba Instant platform was considerably less expensive than the other solutions we evaluated, while delivering staff access, a bedside entry solution, a Wi-Fi hotspot for guests and residents and an in-room telephone solution for our skilled care rooms."

Clark also noted that the new network allows ACTS to fulfill its vision of having every employee connected to the network, whether via company-issued or personal mobile devices. In addition, this Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy would allow residents and guests to use personal mobile devices to connect and communicate.

The ACTS deployment includes nearly 4,000 Aruba Instant Access Points, of which approximately 1,000 are already installed, with the rest scheduled to roll out by mid-2015. The organization is also using Aruba 2500 and 3500 Series Mobility Switches, AirWave Network Management System and Aruba's ClearPass Access Management System to provide guest access. Currently, the wireless network delivers access in the skilled care, assisted living and common areas of ACTS' campuses which encompass about 30 percent of their communities. The network will be extended to ACTS' independent living units, which comprise another 70 percent of the organization's sites, over the next year.

For ACTS' staff, the new network finally brings wireless coverage to areas that were previously devoid of access. With wireless extended to the bedside, nurses and staff can document care on mobile devices, saving time, reducing delays and potential errors - all of which contribute to better resident care. With ACTS expecting to see thousands of devices connecting to the network, Clark noted that flexibility to expand was a crucial factor in their infrastructure choice.

For residents, the new network provides services that weren't available previously and according to Clark, were cost-prohibitive until the Aruba deployment. "Using the Aruba Instant APs, we were able to create a solution that placed a phone in each of our skilled care residents' rooms without running expensive cables," said Clark. "There were a number of ways to do this, but this model saved us an estimated $15,000 per location." The new network also provides HotSpot-type capabilities for residents allowing them to use applications like Skype to communicate with loved ones. Clark noted that a key benefit of the Aruba Instant APs is the ability to rate-limit specific apps on residents' and guests' mobile devices, to avoid saturating the network.

Keywords for this news article include: Wireless Network, Aruba Networks Inc., Wireless Technology.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel



Source: Telecommunications Weekly


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters