Video Tells How Metronet Zings St. Joseph County to Forefront of Health Care Technology

SOUTH BEND, Ind.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- St. Joe Valley Metronet announces the release of a new online video that highlights how high-speed connectivity enables the local health care network to dramatically improve patient care.

Essentially, Michiana Health Information Network (MHIN) and Metronet Zing are positioning the Michiana region to be “a technology hub” in the new economy, according to a leading health IT researcher.

The informative video describes how MHIN provides instantaneous community-wide clinical data and information exchange via Metronet, a 60-plus-mile loop of dark fiber optic cable. Electronic medical records and high-definition files such as x-rays and MRIs can be transmitted and accessed immediately when needed by any health care organization on the network.

“The fact that MHIN has adopted this technology places our area at the forefront,” says Corey Angst, assistant professor of management at the University of Notre Dame. He’s also a senior research fellow for the Center for Health Information and Decision Systems at the University of Maryland.

“It’s very exciting, actually,” he says. “I came from Washington, D.C., and was blown away by the technology here. There’s a whole culture here that’s very receptive to innovations. Metronet Zing helps raise awareness of our region as a good place for technology.”

Benefits to both patients and doctors

For area health care providers and their patients, the high-speed transfer of medical data translates to shorter wait times between testing and treatment, swifter and more accurate diagnoses, easier access to prescriptions, and streamlined records processing — all at a lower cost.

For example, emergency room physician Dr. Mark Kricheff describes on the video a patient he recently treated who had already been seen at another health care facility. The patient continued to have the same symptoms.

Rather than run through the usual battery of tests, Kricheff consulted the patient’s records via MHIN and discovered that those tests had already been done. That allowed Kricheff to provide some reassurance to the patient that all tests had been normal and to look for other issues that might be contributing to the patient’s symptoms.

Benefits to the community

In addition to improving the quality of health care, the technology also enhances the area’s potential to attract new business.

“Many of the innovative new business models are going to require high-speed connectivity,” Angst says. “The affordable infrastructure here places this region in a good position to be a technology hub.”

For Mary Jan Hedman, Metronet’s executive director, Angst’s remarks underscore one of Metronet’s goals: to place the region on a level playing field with much larger metropolitan areas.

“Knowing that our area is ahead of the curve with assets like Metronet and MHIN will allow us the leverage that can help attract high-caliber health care providers to our region,” she says. “What MHIN is achieving with the use of Metronet sets the example of what other communities, regions, states and the country can accomplish.”

As more data is collected, greater bandwidth will be required to share the data with other health care providers, Hedman explains. What is considered high-volume today may be average tomorrow. Dark fiber allows for virtually unlimited expansion because the equipment that lights the fiber can be upgraded to increase the bandwidth while capitalizing on the existing cable infrastructure.

“The premise of Metronet Zing is to provide high-speed bandwidth for technology-based economic development at cost-effective prices,” Hedman says. “Metronet’s fiber optic infrastructure enables the immediate transfer of data with maximum service reliability. Every organization in this region — from business to education to government — can take advantage of the network to become more efficient and competitive in the broader markets.”

To view the video, “Metronet + Medical Health,” go to the Metronet website and click on the arrow in the photo.

About Michiana Health Information Network (MHIN): MHIN is a health information exchange committed to improving care in the Michiana health community. MHIN is organized to coordinate health care information by providing a community-wide clinical data and information exchange to the health care community.

About Metronet Zing: A service of St. Joe Valley Metronet Inc., Metronet Zing offers businesses more data, more speed and more possibilities. All of this via a 60-plus-mile loop of vendor-neutral fiber optic cable that provides secure, affordable, high-speed connectivity and unlimited bandwidth. End-users also enjoy a network of vendors that provide a variety of services at competitive prices.


The Blue Waters Group Inc.
Heather Short-Davis, 574-485-2108

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Indiana

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Technology  Data Management  Networks  Telecommunications  Health  Hospitals  Medical Devices  Other Health