Located in the heart of the Silicon Valley, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford is a world-class, non-profit hospital devoted entirely to the care of expectant women, infants and children. With more than 650 physicians and 4750 staff and volunteers, Packard Children’s provides specialty/sub-specialty pediatric care; is an academic medical center that trains and educates the finest pediatricians of the future; and develops research and innovation leading to life-changing pediatric and obstetrics breakthroughs. As part of an ongoing renovation and expansion to the hospital facilities in 2006, Ed Lowell, Director of IT Infrastructure, made the decision to deploy a new wireless infrastructure for the organization. With cell phones common and smartphones, tablets, and devices on the rise, Packard Children’s realized that complete wireless coverage would be critical to the hospital’s infrastructure, quality patient care, and support staff, visitor, and patient access.
Packard Children’s ultimately chose the Black Box InnerWireless4G Distributed Antenna System (DAS) and WLAN solutions to realize its wireless vision. What made the Black Box system the right choice was that it supports all of the hospital’s wireless services: 3G/4G, Wi-Fi, two-way radio, public safety communications, and Wireless Medical Telemetry Services (WMTS). Packard Children’s desire was for these services to be provided by one vendor with the need for only a limited amount of IT staff support. The Black Box DAS solution was chosen as it provided guaranteed coverage within the hospital for all necessary wireless systems for immediate needs and future growth.
Black Box was chosen to manage the hospital’s wireless services and provided a solution that enabled for easy support of future wireless requirements. Bill Holman of Black Box explains, “In traditional wireless systems, there’s always a worry about interference. With this coordination across all wireless services, the hospital doesn’t have to worry about wireless coverage. It just works.” Packard Children’s also gained the benefit of less IT support. According to Mr. Lowell, “We reduced the need for multiple network engineers to support our hospital’s wireless infrastructure, helping us continue to be efficient while advancing our wireless services.”
As part of the hospital’s ongoing advancements, Packard Children’s is working with Black Box to deploy a 5-GHz WLAN network to provide dramatic increases in Wi-Fi capacity as the organization expands its digital and mobile offerings. Black Box will also monitor the wireless network and provide ongoing data on the overall health and operation of the WLAN. Packard Children’s is in an era of major expansion with the planned addition of a new 521,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the current hospital on the Stanford campus. This expansion will provide the finest modern clinical advancements and technology, taking pediatric and obstetric care to new levels. Black Box will be part of this expansion as the wireless in the new facility is being integrated throughout the build plan and process. “We’re glad to be working with Packard Children’s at this juncture in their expansion,” says Bill Holman. “The wireless infrastructure is being designed along with all the other necessary infrastructures. When the installation takes place, the physical space and pathways will be accommodated for and coordinated with the rest of the physical infrastructure.” Packard Children’s Ed Lowell, who now serves as IT Infrastructure lead on the new facility, explains, “When the hospital expansion opens, we will have a wireless infrastructure that will enable quality, efficient patient care through the expanded use of the mobile devices of today and into the future.”