04-07-2015 07:10 AM
Located in Springfield, Missouri, CoxHealth is a locally owned, not-for-profit health system, serving 24 counties through five hospitals and 83 clinics. Technology is the healthcare system’s backbone. Since 1997, CoxHealth has steadily embraced new technologies to enhance patient care. The system was named a “2014 Most Wired Hospital” by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine and it ranks among the top 100 integrated healthcare networks by SDI.
“Healthcare is the ultimate 24×7 business,” said John Liehr, Network Team Lead at CoxHealth. “The most important attribute of a healthcare network is agility. We need to be able to deliver services as clinicians need them, with a continuous user experience— no matter where they go or what they’re trying to accomplish.”
However, CoxHealth’s original network architecture was far from agile. In fact, it was often unreliable and unpredictable— which significantly affected clinical operations. “We had a flat Layer 2 network built on disparate vendors,” said Dan Brewer, Senior Manager for IT at CoxHealth. “When something happened to the network, that single event took the whole place down. We experienced significant downtime weekly, and we had to drop everything to remediate it.”
Medical applications were also placing new demands on the aging architecture. From a business perspective, healthcare systems are shifting to a pay-forperformance model. They must deliver a superior, continuous patient experience— whether the patient is treated in a hospital, at a remote clinic, or as an outpatient. CoxHealth had begun migrating to a single electronic health record (EHR) approach, but it needed a robust network infrastructure to support it across the entire organization.
“Our vision is to be the best for those we serve,” said Lynne Yaggy, Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Clinical Services at CoxHealth Branson. “As a health care provider, we can’t provide continuity of care if we don’t have the technology to support us. We’ve seen the evolution from paper charts—with their inherent vulnerabilities and errors— to the possibility of one chart everywhere it’s needed. That’s huge from a patient care standpoint.”
To learn more, please read the entire success story.
Additionally, if you'd like more information about CoxHealth and the Cerner's Network Assurance program, please visit the Cerner blog.