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Carson Tahoe Hospital Case Study

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Case Studies

ShoreTel improves Carson Tahoe Hospital’s communications condition by providing high availability and reliability

Carson Tahoe Hospital

New building, new phone system

Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare built a new facility—a 146- bed hospital with approximately 250 physicians and staff. To streamline communications, Carson Tahoe wanted to converge its voice and data networks and add the powerful features.

Doctor orders a UC solution that offers lower TCO

Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare is a progressive, technologically advanced healthcare leader in northern Nevada. With existing NEC PBX-based systems already deployed at most of the 18 buildings across campus, the organization needed a new solution that would offer a lower cost of ownership and advanced features, as well as wireless functionality.

The technology team at Carson Tahoe looked at UC solutions from Cisco, InterTel, NEC, and ShoreTel®, and worked closely with the consultant who had designed the organization’s network infrastructure. This consultant realized that the hospital had unique needs because of its architectural and technological design—and the solution of choice had to move from a centralized computer room in the basement to the edge of the network, and it had to be centrally managed.

The hospital also had other crucial requirements. For instance, the system required a highly reliable distributed architecture with failover in case of a switch failing. The solution also had to allow the
hospital to support a mixture of devices across the switches—for instance, digital devices for clinical locations and analog devices in patient rooms. Finally, the solution had to support wireless SIP phones—including generic SIP WiFi handsets over a wireless network.

Tyler Jackson, systems administrator for Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare, summarized his evaluation of the ShoreTel UC system: “ShoreTel was the only solution that truly worked for us. The distributed architecture of the ShoreTel UC system was a perfect fit for our requirements, and its centralized management is a mission-critical feature. With ShoreTel, you just manage the whole network, no matter where the switches are located.”

ShoreTel’s IP solution is the right medicine for Carson Tahoe Hospital

ShoreTel provided Carson Tahoe with 122 ShoreGear® Voice Switches. In addition, a total of 1,200 extensions were deployed—most of them ShoreTel ShorePhone™ IP telephones, and some analog, including fax machines.

With the ShoreTel UC system, all Carson Tahoe employees are on a centralized phone and voicemail system, managing their email and voicemail activity in one place. The ShoreWare® Personal Call Manager offers Microsoft Outlook® integration and gives users a powerful, all-purpose tool for managing their communications.

ShoreTel’s Find Me feature allows Carson Tahoe employees to have callers reach them wherever they are—at their desk, on their cell phone, or at home if they choose. “Some users have calls routed to their cell phones when they travel,” explains Jackson. “It allows them to be productive from the road, and it also means there are fewer calls they have to return when they get to their destination or when they return back to the office.”

Carson Tahoe uses various workgroups, such as its IT support center, main admitting office, cancer center, and imaging department. ShoreTel’s workgroups capability makes the creation, operation, and management of these teams easy.

Carson Tahoe also uses ShoreTel’s hunt group capability, which ensures that live calls are answered by making multiple people available to answer. When a person is on the phone or unavailable, calls are routed to another extension, preventing callers from unnecessarily reaching voicemail.

“SHORETEL WAS THE ONLY SOLUTION THAT TRULY WORKED FOR US. THE DISTRIBUTED ARCHITECTURE OF THE SHORETEL UC SYSTEM WAS A PERFECT FIT FOR OUR REQUIREMENTS, AND ITS CENTRALIZED MANAGEMENT IS A MISSION-CRITICAL FEATURE.”

Tyler Jackson, Systems Administrator
Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare

Simplicity and savings

ShoreWare Director, ShoreTel’s browser-based management interface, allows the IT staff to access the system from anywhere on the network and manage the entire system from in-house, including voicemail, automated attendant, and desktop applications. When a new user is added, the system automatically updates the centralized database and voice switches, creates a new mailbox, and updates the automated attendant dial-by-name and number feature and online directories—all in a matter of seconds.

“It’s the easiest system in terms of moves, adds, and changes, as well as system administration—even for a network person with no experience in phone systems,” said Chris Woody, network
administrator for Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare. “We’ve reduced systems management time significantly and realized big savings there, lowering our overall cost of ownership.”

ShoreWare Operator Call Manager provides hospital receptionists with the critical information necessary for exceptional customer responsiveness and service. For example, when the phone rings, a call-routing log displays the caller’s experience within the system to the receptionist.

Disaster recovery and reliability are critical for healthcare providers

A key feature of the ShoreTel UC system is its distributed architecture design, which appealed to the hospital because high availability and disaster recovery are priorities in a healthcare environment. Also, ShoreGear Voice Switches have inherent redundancy in the hardware. With ShoreGear Voice Switches, if a packet stops, the switch automatically switches to the other port.

In addition, ShoreTel’s call control software is distributed to every voice switch, which eliminates any single point of failure. In the highly unlikely event a ShoreGear Voice Switch fails, the other switches on the network automatically assume the call-processing load.

“IT’S THE EASIEST SYSTEM IN TERMS OF MOVES, ADDS, AND CHANGES, AS WELL AS SYSTEM ADMINISTRATION—EVEN FOR A NETWORK PERSON WITH NO EXPERIENCE IN PHONE SYSTEMS.”

ShoreTel delivers significant savings, enhanced productivity, and improved business processes

Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare is pleased with the ShoreTel UC system. The organization has realized significant savings, enhanced employee productivity, and continues to improve its business processes based on a state-of-the-art communications system.

“We like working directly with ShoreTel, and we receive an immediate response whenever we need anything,” concludes Jackson. “ShoreTel has taken the initiative to make a complicated product easier. It meets all our requirements, including a distributed architecture, centralized management, and support for both digital and analog devices.

CHALLENGE:

  • Carson Tahoe Hospital decided to switch to a UC system to meet its needs for a distributed architecture, centralized management, support for both analog and digital devices, lower TCO, and improved reliability.

SOLUTION:

  • ShoreTel provided the organization with a complete UC solution, including 42 ShoreGear Voice Switches connecting 1,200 extensions. ShoreWare Director is used to manage the entire solution from any location on the network.

BENEFITS:

  • High availability and disaster recovery capabilities
  • Support for analog and digital devices
  • Improved productivity by more than 50 percent
  • Increased efficiencies due to advanced UC features