ATM system will unify children's hospital

Glasgow, 23 October 97 The York Hill NHS Trust in the U.K. has invested GBP 95,000 in an ATM backbone system from Digital in order to draw together the children's and maternity hospitals which share its Glasgow site. The new network will allow the Trust to support a unified Hospital Information Support System (HISS) which will allow a patient's records to follow them around the hospital during their stay. The HISS will link patient administration, patient records, radiology, pharmacy and the laboratories, and in the near future will hook up virtually all departments.

The Ethernet network currently serves 350 users, but will provide 1000 user access by mid 1998. Digital reseller Systems Solutions was selected to install four DEChub 900 MultiSwitch chassis, each with a Digital VN900 EA unit to link users 10 Mbit/s Ethernet pipes to the 155 Mbit/s ATM backbone. Sitting behind the DEChub 900 MultiSwitch chassis is a Digital Gigaswitch to switch the ATM backbone.

The new system replaces and enhances separate Ethernets wich had grown in an ad-hoc fashion. Within a couple of years the hospital expects medical staff to be using facilities such as video conferencing, and on-line radiology images. The network is designed in such a way that enough bandwidth will be available also for future needs. Networked video, for instance, would allow the hospital to pass footage of certain operations to lecture theatres. Potential future plans for the network could include a second Gigaswitch which would allow the Trust to provide 622 Mbit/s backbone bandwidth.

Sandra Wermer