Catholic Health System selects Alcatel to transform hospital network into an Integrated Delivery System

Calabasas 25 September 2000The Catholic Health System (CHS), Buffalo, New York, has chosen Alcatel's Omni Switch/Router and OmniStack products to provide a next-generation data network for its health care facilities. CHS selected Alcatel for its network to help the organisation merge its systems and networks to become a health care Integrated Delivery System (IDS). It preferred Alcatel's Omni family of switches because this could provide a foundation for novel enterprise-wide applications, while maintaining its legacy infrastructure.


CHS's old network consisted partly of shared Ethernet, Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) and Token Ring, and was upgraded to a fully switched 10/100/1000 Ethernet to support applications and segment systems for performance and security. CHS selected Alcatel's OmniSwitch and Router with its unique user authentication approach and powerful virtual Local Area Network (LAN) capability to create secure zones while upgrading the performance of its applications.

Alcatel's layer 2 and layer 3 OS/R can provide flexibility anywhere in the network design architecture, while establishing the requirements for the high-availability needed to support large enterprise networks. CHS is using Alcatel's superior Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) technology to improve bandwidth utilisation and security for high-bandwidth applications such as PACS and Storage Management.

"CHS can put high security or high bandwidth applications like PYXIS and PACS in their own VLANs and offer access to them only where they are needed in their enterprise", stated Ginger Walker, Alcatel's director of health care. "With CHS's upgrade to a switched network and these segmentation capabilities, it has the power and flexibility it will need to meet its application and bandwidth demands well into the future."

Mrs. Walker continued that whenever compliance to HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act, becomes necessary, CHS also has the ability to define VLANs by the user, and by adding RADIUS or LDAP authentication to their strategy. "This will allow them to meet HIPAA's proposed user-based access control requirements."

"Alcatel's solution gave us the flexibility to build our network while bridging critical, older technologies and systems such as FDDI for our Wide Area Network (WAN) connections between our largest sites", stated Doug Torre, CHS networking and technical services director. "We chose Alcatel because its products could address our network requirements in a one box solution, and because of the tremendous support that we have received from its sales and systems engineering team", added Mr. Doug Torre.

Officially launched in March of 1999, the Catholic Health System (CHS) in Buffalo, New York, is one of Western New York's leading providers of health care services. CHS has more than 8000 employees and 1700 physicians, providing care to hundreds of thousands of Western New Yorkers. The CHS network consists of five hospitals, fifteen primary care centres, two free standing surgery centres, nine diagnostic and treatment centres, thirteen long term care facilities, adult homes, home care agencies, counselling services, social service and behavioural health programmes.

Recognising that health care providers must change the way in which they are structured and the way they work in order to meet the challenges of the turbulent environment, CHS has recently taken aggressive strides to re-structure for service to the community into the new century. The launching of a new health care system brings with it enormous challenges, both in terms of cultural and technological integration. Catholic Health System looks forward to meeting those challenges.

Alcatel builds next generation networks, delivering integrated end-to-end voice and data networking solutions to established and new carriers, as well as enterprises and consumers worldwide. With 120.000 employees and sales of 23 billion euro in 1999, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries.

Leslie Versweyveld

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