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Choosing the Right AV Integrator for Healthcare Facility Design

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There is no substitute for proper planning. Can you imagine building a healthcare facility without first determining the layout of the ER in relation to the path an ambulance needs to take to enter the hospital? Or building a radiology department without first considering how the MRI machine will be able to get into the room? The truth is that planning is critically important in building a facility that can deliver exceptional care, and a great deal of time, effort, and expertise goes into the endeavor.

Now ask yourself this question.

With technology becoming more and more integral to the delivery of efficient care and positive patient outcomes, can you afford not to plan properly for its integration into the facility?

In today’s world of healthcare, technology is no longer about a paging system in the ER and a TV in the waiting room. There is an interconnected world of equipment that allows data to flow freely between departments and other facilities. The systems of today, more than ever before, are in desperate need of pre-planning to work successfully and perform their valuable functions.

Given all this, partnering with a technology company that understands the ins and outs of the modern healthcare facility and its needs is essential. In choosing a partner to assist in designing the technology for your facility, it is imperative that they understand the four underlying principles of any healthcare technology plan.

Distribution- The very nature of today’s interconnected devices means that there has to be some way to get data, audio, and video from one location to another. Camera feeds from the OR may be fed into other areas of the building for recording for insurance purposes.  A simulation lab’s video feed may be pushed off-site for distance learning and collaboration with medical schools. Electronic Health Records, EHRs, and MRIs need to flow from radiology to oncology. In any of the above scenarios, there needs to be a plan for the distribution of these signals in the facility and beyond.


Given the flow of information in the facility and to other locations as described above, bandwidth is essential to distribution. Partner with a technology firm that understands how to assure that systems operate efficiently and utilize the best methods of distribution that properly allocate bandwidth. Strategies may include separating video streams from data, utilizing both wired and wireless networks, and using higher-end cabling like 10G or Fiber for equipment with higher data input and output requirements.


This one may be obvious but needs to be emphasized here nonetheless. If you are sending data off-site, whether for providing telemedicine services or for sharing information, HIPPA requires your team to make every reasonable effort to keep it secure. Work with partners who understand the differences between consumer teleconferencing applications like Skype and other professional-grade, hard codec-based video communications. Align yourself with a team that understands how to plan a network that separates wired and wireless networks for public devices like digital signage networks and patient entertainment systems from other devices that may contain sensitive patient data like EHRs.


Any good plan includes an understanding of how the system will be maintained after its implementation. There is a great piece on choosing a long-term partner for managed services here that you should take a look at.

Again, there is no substitute for proper planning, and as such, choosing the right partner to assist in this stage is invaluable. Just as you scrutinize the resume, training, and education of a new surgeon joining your team, you should seriously evaluate the credentials of your chosen technology partner to make sure they have the proper experience and knowledge to deliver the patient experience you strive for.


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