St. Mary's and Duluth Clinic Health System selects MobileAccess for Wi-Fi network

Vienna 14 February 2005The St. Mary's and Duluth Clinic (SMDC) Health System has deployed the MobileAccess MA-850 Intelligent Switching Hub, developed by MobileAccess Networks, a provider of in-building wireless network solutions, to enable Wi-Fi applications within nine buildings. The system supports a wireless medical materials management solution that provides accurate inventory management for hospital personnel and streamlined billing processes for SMDC's medical suppliers.


SMDC is implementing the MA-850 Wi-Fi solution to enable new wireless applications that further enhance the hospital's already excellent levels of patient care. Initially, the system supports a wireless barcode application, letting SMDC track its inventory of medical materials more accurately and efficiently. In the future, SMDC plans to implement a wireless Voice over IP (VoIP) application to foster real-time communication among highly mobile hospital personnel.

"We teamed with Norstan, our systems integrator, and evaluated several in-building wireless solutions for our Wi-Fi system. Upon Norstan's recommendation, we selected the MobileAccess solution because it delivers the network reliability that our personnel demand and our patients at SMDC deserve", stated Rick Schroeder, Network Analyst at SMDC. "In addition, the MA-850 solution gives us the ability to locate our Wi-Fi access points in the wiring closets instead of on the ceilings, which makes the APs more secure and much easier to maintain. The MA-850 also supports a scaling feature that lets us broaden the coverage potential of each wireless access point, so we can design with fewer of them, which is a huge operational savings for the hospital."

Increasingly, health care organisations are leveraging mobile devices and wireless medical applications to increase the quality of patient care. MobileAccess offers a flexible in-building wireless solution that is ideal for health care environments, supporting a broad range of wireless services over a common infrastructure. In addition to Wi-Fi capabilities, the MobileAccess system supports cellular, PCS and VHF/UHF technologies enabling wireless applications that include mobile voice, paging, asset tracking and medical telemetry. The MobileAccess system adapts to service changes or additions without disruption and readily accommodates emerging wireless technologies such as ED-VO, UMTS and 3G.

"In-building wireless voice and data coverage is critical across all business segments, particularly health care. Health care organisations want instant communications among their medical personnel, real-time access to patient information and reliable support for life-critical wireless applications such as medical telemetry", stated Cathy Zatloukal, President and CEO of MobileAccess. "We look forward to continuing our relationship with Norstan and delivering innovative in-building wireless voice and services to the health care community."

With the MobileAccess MA-850 Intelligent Switching Hub, organisations can deploy Wi-Fi architectures that are more flexible and easier to maintain than the conventional "AP everywhere" Wi-Fi model. In an MA-850 implementation, passive broadband antennas provide the Wi-Fi signal coverage enabling the 802.11 Access Points (APs) to be clustered together in secure wiring closets where they can be readily accessed and cost-effectively maintained.

The MA-850 supports advanced RF features that enable more flexible and future-proof Wi-Fi implementations. With an embedded RF switching matrix, the MA-850 enables a "Pay-As-You-Grow" capability that can minimize the number of required APs, significantly reducing cost. With the MA-850's integral multi-service support, IT managers can use their Wi-Fi infrastructure to simultaneously support any future mix of wireless services. The MA-850 is complementary with all third-party Wi-Fi solutions supporting the IEEE 802.11a/b/g standards, enabling it to readily integrate into any Wi-Fi environment.

SMDC Health System is a non-profit health care organisation serving 450.000 residents of Northeastern Minnesota, Northwestern Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. SMDC is the largest health care provider in the region with four hospitals and 18 community clinics. The system employs more than 6000 health care professionals including nearly 400 physicians. SMDC strives to embody the soul and science of healing by combining compassionate care with leading edge research, treatments and technologies.

Norstan Inc. is a full-service communications solutions company that delivers voice and data technologies and services, and remanufactured equipment to corporate end-users and public sector companies. Norstan offers a full range of integrated technologies for converged solutions, customer contact solutions and ProtecNet Life Cycle services. The company has offices located throughout the United States and Canada.

MobileAccess Networks is a developer of in-building wireless solutions for corporate enterprises and wireless service providers. MobileAccess products provide business-quality performance and reliability for current and future wireless services, including cellular voice, Wi-Fi, and public safety, throughout large buildings and campus environments. With hundreds of networks installed worldwide, MobileAccess Networks UnWires the Workplace with cost-effective, scalable solutions that deliver superior wireless coverage for all data and voice applications. Founded in 1998, MobileAccess Networks provides in-building wireless solutions to AT&T Wireless, Verizon, Sprint PCS, Nextel, Cingular, T-Mobile, Partner, Deutsche Telecom, France Telecom, Orange, Cellcom and DutchTone. High profile customers include United States House of Representatives, Ft. Lauderdale Airport, American Family Insurance, American University, Red Cross and many others.

Leslie Versweyveld

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