With an ever-increasing importance placed on healthcare facility data networks, it’s become equally imperative for such facilities to have a robust infrastructure. The need for flexibility, for being able to seamlessly grow with demands on the network, as well as those of constantly changing technology, means getting it right from the start. One of the best things owners of new facilities can do to ensure that this happens is to be prepared to work with the design team, and in particular the IT consultant, during the design phases of the project.

There are quite a few things that the IT consultant will need to know early on in order to best do his/her job. Below are a few of examples of the types of questions owners should be prepared to answer:

  • Are there any existing IT standards for the facility?
  • What type/speed data network is required—for example, is gigabit Ethernet a requirement, or fiber to the desktop?
  • Will the phone system for the building be VoIP?
  • Are there any special demands that the network will be required to support, such as streaming or recording media for training rooms or Ors, an IPTV system for patient rooms, or digital signage or wayfinding applications?

In addition to these basic questions, there are many technical questions that need to be asked as well. It is important to ensure that the appropriate facility staff members attend the design meetings, people that would be able to provide technical input to the IT consultant.

Corey Salvatore, CTS, is Senior Consultant at Acentech. He can be reached at csalvatore@acentech.com. For more information, visit www.acentech.com.