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Doctor Hospital at Renaissance Case Study

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Case Studies

Doctors Hospital implements ShoreTel IP-based UC to ensure cost-efficient, quality healthcare and integrated business communications

Doctor Hospital At Renaissance

Legacy Nortel PBX system with limited capacity

The existing campus relied on a legacy Nortel PBX system, which could not be expanded to meet the hospital’s long-term needs.

Modern telephony features to improve productivity

Doctors Hospital has grown nearly tenfold in the past decade. With pressure to provide top-notch patient care while controlling costs, the hospital needed to boost the availability, mobility, and capabilities of its communications infrastructure.

The existing campus relied on a legacy Nortel PBX system, which could not be expanded to meet the hospital’s long-term needs. With the pending completion of The Women’s Hospital at Renaissance and other facilities on the East Campus, a new telecom infrastructure needed to connect the separate campuses and ensure transparent failover in case of a power outage or other failure at one location.

 “We wanted redundancy and to migrate antiquated paper procedures into digital formats that could be integrated and shared across facilities to improve productivity and service. We had many goals for a new, modern system, such as deploying four-digit direct inward dialing (DID), interconnecting desk phones and wireless devices, and reducing the costs associated with long-distance calling,” says Robert Acosta, director of technology services and security at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance.

Making the vendor rounds

The Doctors Hospital considered several VoIP vendors, and eventually teamed with Lava Concepts, a ShoreTel reseller in Edinburg, Texas, that specializes in IP and wireless networking solutions. Acosta wanted to understand how each vendor proposed to integrate the two campuses and ensure redundancy and reliability.

Lava Concepts performed a pilot with 25 ShoreTel IP Phones tied into the Nortel PBX system. The pilot successfully demonstrated ShoreTel’s distributed architecture, which integrated with existing PBX systems and other business applications, and incorporated a switch-based platform rather than relying on a server network to run the phones.

“I didn’t want to have our system dependent upon the expertise of a network manager, and the ShoreTel solution seemed extremely easy to use without special knowledge or support,” says Acosta. “ShoreTel offered a lower total cost of ownership than the other top vendors. To outfit rapid expansion and support 24x7 healthcare, we chose the ShoreTel Unified Communications (UC) system for its unique distributed architecture and user-friendly interface. We can have reliability and flexibility across facilities, and can easily deploy, manage, and scale as needed. If we need additional support, Lava Concepts is right there to help.”

ShoreTel ensures redundancy and reliability while lowering TCO

ShoreTel’s UC system comprised more than 900 ShoreTel IP Phones, ShoreTel Voice Switches, ShoreTel Director, and ShoreTel Call Manager integrated with Microsoft Outlook for desktop users.

The ShoreTel Converged Conferencing solution, a 24-port ShoreTel Conference Bridge, was included to provide additional collaboration tools and reduce the need for expensive audio and Web conferencing services.

“WHILE CISCO AND SHORETEL WERE CLOSE IN E911 CAPABILITIES, THE COST AND COMPLEXITY WERE FAR DIFFERENT AND SHORETEL WAS MUCH MORE APPEALING.”

Robert Acosta
Director of Technology Services and Security
Doctors Hospital at Renaissance

While much of the West Campus remained on the Nortel PBX system, the new East Campus implemented the ShoreTel system, and the two campuses were connected via a fiber-optic ring—or closed loop—designed to seamlessly integrate and unify communications for the healthcare organization. The hospital’s intention is to eventually convert all users from Nortel to ShoreTel as time and budgets permit, totaling 2,600 users on the ShoreTel system.

Curing Outdated Protocols

Doctors Hospital has synchronized the ShoreTel directory with its Microsoft Active Directory, eliminating the need to enter new information more than once, and making all contact information available through ShoreTel Call Manager.

ShoreTel Call Manager also facilitates hunt groups at all nurses’ stations, allowing a cluster of telephone lines to be called in predetermined order until one is answered or available to complete a connection. This “multiple phone tree” can be vital to accelerating communication during life-or-death situations.

ShoreTel provides ROI of $36,000 per year

Doctors Hospital has enjoyed its own renaissance thanks to the simplicity and reliability of the ShoreTel UC system and has been able to usher in much greater levels of productivity, innovation, and value.

The ShoreTel UC system has enabled the hospital to boost its return on investment with an immediate savings of $36,000 per year in long-distance telephone charges, plus hundreds of dollars per month by eliminating the need for additional PRI connectivity—even though the hospital has doubled the number of users on the system.

 “We worked with ShoreTel Professional Services Group for the initial implementation at The Women’s Hospital at Renaissance,” says Acosta. “Since then, my team has successfully completed installations at the Behavioral Health Center, Wellness Center, several remote sites, and even the medical tower, which is a four-story facility. And there haven’t been any problems with the new system; my team has had more time to work on other important hospital projects.”

 “The ShoreTel Conference Bridge enables doctors to tie into the telemedicine application using the camera on their home laptop,” explains Acosta. “For instance, this technology is useful when law enforcement brings a patient to our Behavioral Health Center to be evaluated late at night. The center may have a psychiatrist on call who can use the teleconferencing/video process to assess the patient remotely, rather than having both the patient and enforcement officer wait for the doctor to arrive on premises.”

“SHORETEL IS JUST SO EASY TO USE, YOU ONLY HAVE TO KNOW THE PERSON’S NAME IN ORDER TO LOCATE AND DIAL THE PHONE NUMBER.”

This platform for growth, together with the system’s ease of use and flexibility, are key reasons why the ShoreTel UC system was the right choice. ”We’ve gained a thriving, modern, and pervasive IP business communications architecture that catapults the hospital to a higher echelon of service and connectedness,” concludes Acosta. “When it comes to curing our communication ills, ShoreTel truly was the best medicine.”

CHALLENGE:

  • A rapidly expanding hospital needed to ensure reliable, transparent communications among existing and new campuses, while keeping legacy PBX systems at some locations.

SOLUTION:

  • The ShoreTel UC system connected the hospital campuses via a fiber-optic network and included ShoreTel IP Phones, ShoreTel Voice Switches, and the ShoreTel Converged Conferencing Solution.

BENEFITS:

  • Fully integrated UC capabilities
  • Communication systems to support 24x7 healthcare
  • Cost savings of $36,000 per year
  • Cost savings of $36,000 per year