Mo. hospital chain builds tech-friendly outpost

At St. Luke's Hospital East--Lee's Summit (Mo.), IT administrators are leveraging digital picture archiving and voice recognition transcription software--among other tools--to allow ER physicians to view X-rays on a computer and read the radiologist's dictated report before the patient has returned from the radiology department. Nurses are paged when a patient's EKG is abnormal, and are reachable over the wireless network. Cardiac patient are monitored over the network by a central unit at the system's flagship hospital. These are just a few of the advanced data networking features enjoyed by clinicians and administrators at the 52-bed hospital, which opened in January of this year. When planning the Lee's Summit campus, executives with the Saint Luke's Health System designed in technology-friendly construction from the outset. Among other things, the hospital's systems design includes a comprehensive wireless network whose 80 access points reach 95 percent of the hospital. The high-capacity network carries not only radiology images, but also data and VoIP telephony traffic. The hospital's wireline network, meanwhile, is connected to the other Saint Luke's hospitals via a SONET ring.

- To learn more about St. Luke's networking and communications strategies, read this article from Hospital Facilities Management