St. John's Hospital deploys wireless voice over IP network with Meru wireless LAN system

Sunnyvale 06 December 2005St. John's Hospital of Springfield, Illinois, one of the largest Catholic hospitals in the United States, has deployed Meru's WLAN System for a wireless VoIP network that is revolutionizing the hospital's operations. Using Meru's WLAN System, the only wireless LAN solution that is purpose-built for voice, St. John's is dramatically improving patient care, with administrators demonstrating a return on investment (ROI) of $2 million per year, more than paying for the cost of the deployment.


St. John's sought a network that could deliver converged voice and data applications with seamless roaming of voice clients and no degradation of voice quality, as well as support for multiple applications with different security settings. After evaluating numerous vendors' products, St. John's determined that Meru's WLAN System was the only solution that met and exceeded all of their requirements.

With its patented Air Traffic Control Technology that enables the over-the-air Quality of Service required for wireless VoIP and data network, Meru's WLAN System enables St. John's nurses and physicians to communicate seamlessly as they roam throughout the hospital with landline quality voice. In addition, Meru's ability to support up to 64 separate virtual LANs with individual security profiles, gives St. John's staff reliable, secure access to critical patient information and multiple applications via the same infrastructure, while maintaining HIPAA compliance.

"Our evaluation clearly demonstrated that Meru's WLAN System was the only solution that could provide seamless roaming for voice clients with no loss in quality or dropped calls and could support all the applications we needed", stated St. John's Director of IT and Telecommunications, Gretchen Niehaus.

Equally beneficial are the significant cost savings St. John's has achieved with the wireless VoIP network. According to Gretchen Niehaus, St. John's found that each nurse was saving, on average, 30 minutes per day by using the new wireless VoIP network. Using average pay levels, Ms. Niehaus found that the hospital would achieve an ROI of $2 million per year, more than justifying the cost of the network.

"The substantial ROI we've seen has made the network an easy justification", Ms. Niehaus added. "We're finding that our staff is so pleased with the network that we're receiving regular requests to expand it to additional areas and applications."

"St. John's is a perfect example of how health care facilities can streamline their operations and experience significant cost saving with an effective wireless VoIP deployment", stated Joel Vincent, director of marketing for Meru Networks. "Meru's WLAN System is ideal for environments like health care wherein users are constantly mobile and both data and high-quality voice communications are critical to their jobs. By delivering the over-the-air QoS, scalability, predictable performance and ease of management necessary for pervasive enterprise WLAN deployments, Meru's WLAN System significantly improves the operating efficiency and ultimately, the delivery of patient care that health care facilities like St. John's are looking for."

Currently, the Meru WLAN System is installed on the first four floors of St. John's providing mobile connectivity and a redundant controller to ensure the maximum service availability. St. John's utilizes Vocera Communications Badges to provide quick, easy communication amongst caregivers and other hospital staff. Vocera is a member of Meru's recently-announced VoIP Unplugged, an industry-wide partnering programme designed to facilitate the delivery of seamless, end-to-end wireless VoIP solutions for enterprises and service providers. The fact that Meru and Vocera have assured interoperability between their products and established best practices, simplifies St. John's deployment and ongoing management of the network.

St. John's plans to expand the wireless VoIP network to cover the entire twelve floors of the hospital, using over 400 access points and adding applications like more extensive electronic medial record systems, barcode scanning for inventory control and care delivery, guest and patient Internet access and RFID for asset tracking.

Meru Networks, founded in 2002, is a global expert in Wireless Voice over IP (VoIP) infrastructure solutions. With its innovative, award-winning Air Traffic Control technology that brings the benefits of the cellular world to the wireless LAN environment, Meru's WLAN System is the only solution on the market that offers the reliability, scalability, and security necessary to deliver converged voice and data services over a single WLAN infrastructure. Meru's Wireless LAN System provides major Fortune 500 enterprises, universities, health care organisations and local, state and federal government agencies with the predictable bandwidth and over-the-air Quality of Service required to support a wide range of current and future wireless applications.

Leslie Versweyveld

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