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Enterasys’ RoamAboutTM Wireless Solution Brings Technology to Both
Medical Staff & Sick Children

NEWBURY, ENGLAND -- Enterasys Networks™, a leader in secure, available and mobile enterprise communications solutions, today announced that Sheffield Children’s Hospital has selected its RoamAboutTM wireless technology to create a secure and resilient enterprise-wide wireless network. The new infrastructure provides staff and patients with flexible Internet, intranet and hospital network access throughout the facility, culminating in coverage for the entire site.

The RoamAbout wireless network facilitates patient record and database access and enhanced communications for Accident & Emergency (A&E). Operating theatre and general medical staff will shortly have access, supporting direct clinical care activities. Through superior flexibility and speed of access, medical staff processes are made simpler and productivity is increased. In turn, the network provides access to the Internet and e-learning facilities so sick children have the ability to continue their education throughout their stay in hospital. The innovative solution, implemented in early 2001, was provided in association with ICC, a leading networking consultancy.

Sheffield Children’s Hospital caters to children from birth to the age of 16. With 1,300 staff and 150 beds, it’s an essential resource to the area. The hospital is constantly looking for the latest technology to improve medical care for local children. IT Manager for Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Russell Banks explains, “We had almost entirely paper-based systems that were very difficult to maintain and became time-intrusive. There were some PCs scattered around the hospital used mainly for administrative purposes and remote patient management; thanks to Enterasys’ secure wireless solution, we can now use the technology for direct clinical care.”

The solution encompasses the use of Enterasys’ IEEE 802.11, RoamAbout wireless PC cards and access points in a variety of different hospital departments, and provides a host of benefits:


* Within the A+E department, RoamAbout is enabling medical staff to take full advantage of hand-held computer devices such as Compaq iPAQs. Doctors utilise the devices, connected via Enterasys’ wireless technology, to access all hospital systems, receive and send e-mail, gain access to protocols and rotas, link to the Web and use as a Dictaphone with voice recognition. The combination of computing power and flexibility of access is a vital tool in this time-critical environment.

* Within the operating suites, wireless technology is facilitating direct surgeon access to patient records and Daycare administrative staff. Through immediate medical updates, a time reduction in discharge documentation will take place, ensuring a faster turnaround process and increasing the opportunities to treat more patients. This is achieved via RoamAbout access points at both ends of its main theatre suite, linking via radio waves to laptop computers containing access cards. Activation takes place in June 2001.

* A possible development may soon provide general medical staff members with hand-held PCs containing wireless access to the network. Doctors and nurses can view comparative drug doses via the Internet, and locate and update patient information directly from patient bedsides. The availability of up-to-date information is a powerful tool, reducing the risk of medical errors, increasing positive patient outcomes and alleviating costly transcription services.

“We had numerous goals which were to provide information for clinical staff direct to the patients’ bedside, increase efficient use of e-mail and diaries, deploy TV and radio via the network, and to aid communication between staff,” said Russell Banks. “Once we saw Enterasys’ secure wireless network we knew this product would provide the link we needed to get the right information closer to the patient,” he continued.

In turn, non-medical benefits of the wireless solution are achieved. Express-Link-Up, an charity that provides facilities for sick children to continue their education, has provided PCs containing Enterasys’ RoamAbout access cards for wireless connectivity to the Internet. Through restricted sites, children can e-mail their school, family and friends, or gain access to a variety of educational and play software. “It’s certainly very popular,” said Russell Banks. “In fact the children are virtually fighting for access to it!”

Wireless connectivity is provided by numerous Enterasys RoamAbout wireless LAN access points and PC cards. Through inherent 128-bit encryption, security of medical and personal records is assured. In addition, to ensure absolute privacy of patient records, and to prevent the interception of or access to information, the hospital created a separate range of IP addresses and frequency ‘hops.’ Extensive investigation also took place prior to selection to ensure radio waves would not interfere with critical medical equipment.

“The significance of the Sheffield Children’s Hospital project should not be lost in discussing the physical technology of wireless communications. The significance is that this use of technology is improving patient care, and creating a real bedside medical computing environment that doctors and nursing staff can leverage in their day-to-day patient care activities,” commented Stefan Michal, Vice President for Enterasys UK & Ireland. “Wireless is a new breed of flexible communications solutions from Enterasys that is delivering IT services to where the user needs it most, and in this case it’s at the bedside for medical care purposes. We believe that information has to be delivered to a “where, when and how” model that is dictated by the operating environment and user, not by the physical limitations of what are considered traditional communications solutions.”


About ICC Communications Ltd

ICC is a modern, specialist cabling and communications company, with a prestigious client list and a wealth of experience within the Public and Private Sectors. Established in 1994 to meet the increasing demands for improved data communications systems, the organisation provides comprehensive voice and data cabling services, including total network solutions.

With a professional and experienced planning team, all aspects of data communications, from designing a simple network to proposing a total network solution, are taken care off. These first-class skills, combined with the company’s flexibility, value-added services and commitment, give ICC a major advantage over its competitors.

ICC is a holder of the NHS Supplies Cable & Wireless LAN framework agreement.

About Enterasys Networks

Enterasys Networks is a new type of company that combines a single market focus with a strong technology heritage to provide communications infrastructures for enterprise-class customers. Enterasys' networking hardware and software offerings deliver the innovative security, availability and mobility solutions required by Global 2000 organizations, coupled with the industry's strongest service and support. Based in Rochester, New Hampshire, Enterasys is backed by Silver Lake Partners and Cabletron Systems (NYSE: CS), and was named a "Company to Watch in 2001" by CIO Magazine. For more information, visit http://www.enterasys.com


Editorial Contacts:

Further information on Enterasys- including interviews, reviews and photography is available from Martin Brindley or Adrian Brophy at MCC International:

Annmarie Dickson
Enterasys Networks
Tel: +44 1635 810723
E: adickson@enterasys.com

Martin Brindley/Natalie Johnson
MCC International Ltd
Tel: +44 1962 888100
E: martin.brindley@mccint.com
adrian.brophy@mccint.com

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