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Lorien Health Services Preps for IoT and Delivers Patient-Centered Care with Aruba Mobile First Network

October 10, 2017

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company (NYSE: HPE), today announced that Lorien Health Services, a Maryland-based, family-owned and operated healthcare organization, has replaced its legacy wireless network with a Mobile First Network from Aruba. The new network will serve Lorien’s fourteen locations and help the company fulfill its goal of leveraging the latest in healthcare technology to maximize its residents’ quality of life.

Lorien Health Services had been using off-the-shelf wireless networking products but quickly found that the lack of performance, reliability and enterprise-class features hampered caregivers’ ability to serve patients and residents. Many of the healthcare applications Lorien uses require web-based cloud access which became impossible with its existing wireless network.

The unreliable Wi-Fi connectivity also plagued Lorien’s nurse call system, dropping their connections frequently, so that when residents hit their call buttons, nurses were not always alerted. In addition, the existing network was an obstacle to Lorien’s adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) since they couldn’t easily and reliably connect new IoT devices and systems such as EKG monitors and HVAC systems.

Working with partner, Carousel Industries, Lorien began searching for an enterprise WLAN solution that could improve its Wi-Fi speed, performance and reliability, deliver 24/7 mobile access, and allow the organization’s IT staff to easily manage the network. Lorien evaluated solutions from several vendors including Aerohive before selecting Aruba’s mobile first platform.

Using approximately four hundred Aruba 802.11ac 300 Series 802.11ac Access Points, along with Aruba Mobility Controllers and AirWave Network Management, Lorien quadrupled the speed of their Wi-Fi and dramatically improved density – even in older buildings where they’d had signaling issues and connectivity failures previously. More importantly, the new network allows Lorien to give nurses and caregivers round-the-clock access to the devices and applications they need to deliver top-notch patient and resident care.

“Our caregivers have more important things to worry about than the Wi-Fi network,” said Michael Bowman, Network Engineer at Lorien Health Services. “With our new Aruba WLAN, we finally have a reliable, always-on network, so our staff’s time is spent helping patients and residents, not trying to get connected to the network. Our IT staff can also focus on other tasks now that they don’t have to spend time troubleshooting network issues.”

With the new Aruba network in place, Lorien can now deliver high-speed, pervasive Wi-Fi for residents, caregivers and guests. The organization is using mobile carts equipped with laptops so caregivers can quickly access internal and external, cloud-based clinical applications including the EMR and EHR clinical applications that enable patient demographics and admissions transfers and discharges, Point of Care, and RefillRX for easy prescription fulfillment. In addition, caregivers can access Lorien’s CareTracker app to turn any iPad into a phone, allowing them to place calls between rooms, floors or even different Lorien facilities.

Furthermore, with the new wireless network, Lorien has been able to expand its IoT initiative, connecting security cameras, HVAC and thermostat systems for more automated usage, and wireless devices to monitor aspects of patient care such as EKG status and hygiene.

For the future, Lorien plans to upgrade its Aruba controllers to accommodate its continued growth, and plans to deploy Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager for device authentication. With its Aruba mobile first network in place, the organization is confident that it can address future needs quickly and easily.

Said Bowman, “Our Aruba network has already improved our staff’s productivity, reduced IT headaches and most importantly, increased resident and patient satisfaction. We feel comfortable leveraging whatever new healthcare technologies come our way now that we have a solid networking foundation in place.”