Comcast Business today announced that Cooper University Health Care, the premier healthcare provider in southern New Jersey, is using an innovative mix of Comcast Business Ethernet services to connect its hospitals, medical campuses, lab and imaging facilities, outpatient offices and even physician homes to a secure, private network that is improving all aspects of patient care.
“Patients do not want to go to a doctor’s office and be told they can’t be seen because the computer system is down, so the network plays a crucial role in healthcare IT in ensuring clinicians always have access to EMRs, imaging and other patient information when and where needed,” said Jayashree Raman, vice president and chief information officer for Cooper University Health Care. “Our Comcast Ethernet services enable us to deliver a reliable network infrastructure to our doctors, nurses and staff, which lets them focus on their patients and providing the critical medical care that the local community has come to expect from us.”
As Cooper looked to roll out a comprehensive Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system, it quickly recognized that its network needed better reliability and scale. The existing patchwork of T1s and other connections from different providers was not reliable enough, which led to service issues that slowed down patient services and increased the IT department’s workload. With a need to connect so many locations across a large geographic area – ranging from downtown Camden to suburban medical offices and even residential homes – Cooper knew it needed a network provider that not only offered reliable, scalable bandwidth, but also had the network reach capable of addressing the unique requirements of its diverse locations.
In addition to supporting EMRs, imaging and the myCooper patient portal, the network also lets oncologists at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper videoconference with peers from other cancer centers weekly to review and collaborate on patient cases, research and treatment options. In addition, Cooper medical students use the network to attend remote classes with specialists at other locations. Cooper University Health Care continues to add sites to the network, but is currently using the following services from Comcast Business:
- A fiber-based Ethernet Network Service with 86 connections that link 43 locations at speeds ranging from 10 Megabits-per-second (Mbps) up to 600 Mbps. For maximum availability and load balancing of traffic, each location has two Ethernet Network Service connections.
- 200 Mbps Ethernet Dedicated Internet line at Cooper University Hospital for Internet access.
- 1 Gigabit-per-second (Gbps) Ethernet Virtual Private Line at its main campus in Camden that is the central hub site for an EVPL service connecting remote sites with significant capacity to add more locations over time.
- Ethernet @Home service to radiologists’ homes, which provides 6 Mbps Ethernet Virtual Private Line connections for secure, private access to the Cooper network versus having to log-on using a latency-sensitive service over the public Internet.
Due to the design, scale and patient-focused benefits of the network, Cooper University Health Care and Comcast Business were recently awarded the prestigious Best Application of the Year in Health in the Metro Ethernet Forum’s (MEF) 2014 Ethernet Excellence Awards. The judging panel for the MEF awards includes senior industry analysts and Ethernet experts from IDC, Infonetics Research, Vertical Systems Group, Gartner, Frost & Sullivan, Ovum and the Rayno Report.
Opened in 1887 as a 30-bed hospital serving the population of Camden, New Jersey, Cooper University Health Care has grown to more than 5,700 people, including 751 physicians in over 75 specialties. With a network of more than 100 outpatient offices throughout the region, Cooper is dedicated to world-class medical care, education and research, and averages 26,400 hospital admissions, 76,700 ER visits and nearly 500,000 outpatient visits each year. It also operates MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper and is the teaching campus for Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, both located on the Health Sciences Campus in Camden.