Milford Regional Medical Center: The prescription for an advanced IP network

June 1, 2016
A combination of Category 6 UTP, Om3 multimode, and singlemode cabling supports a variety of applications in the healthcare facility's new 128,000-square-foot expansion.

By Susan Larson, Berk-Tek

Serving more than 20 towns, Milford Regional Medical Center (MRMC) is a full-service, nonprofit community and regional teaching hospital with acute-care facilities in the heart of Milford, Massachusetts. Having projected that patient numbers for emergency care will rise to 70,000 as the local population continues to grow, MRMC initiated an expansion of both its emergency department and intensive care unit (ICU) facilities.

Throughout the planning stage, staff assessed the most advanced technologies and innovations that would best meet patient needs while supporting emerging video telemetry, telemedicine, and other high-bandwidth medical advancements. To carry out its vision for advanced IT, data, security, surveillance, and network futureproofing. MRMC turned to A/Z Corporation as its single-source design-build and engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) partner. A/Z Corporation has worked with MRMC on multiple mission-critical projects, including the MRMC Cancer Center, and has cultivated an eight-year trusted relationship. A/Z collaborated closely with the hospital’s project management company, Murphy and McManus, to evaluate a number of cabling and interconnect manufacturers. They decided to move forward with Berk-Tek Leviton Technologies, recognizing the combined strength of innovative Berk-Tek cabling and advanced Leviton connectivity.

Fully operational as of October 2015, the new building at Milford Regional Medical Center doubled the size of the center’s lower Level 1 emergency department to nearly 30,000 square feet, expanded the Level 1 intensive care unit from 4,600 to 13,000 square feet, and included a rooftop tranquility garden as well as additional ground-floor parking. In total, the project expansion came to 128,000 square feet.

“A/Z selected Berk-Tek Leviton Technologies because the two partnered companies had recognized early on that communication networks were moving toward ‘Everything IP’ and had designed their products specifically with leading-edge bandwidth, wireless, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) properties for high-performance IP transmission,” said Robert Nault, RCDD, A/Z Corporation’s technology solutions development manager. According to Nault, the dedication of service, stringent testing beyond industry standards, and the advantages of Berk-Tek’s cable designs were important factors when choosing Berk-Tek Leviton Technologies’ structured cabling solutions.

By choosing Berk-Tek Leviton Technologies, MRMC benefited from the following.

  • Proprietary Berk-Tek materials that enable cables to protect IP traffic from heat
  • Exclusive Tek-Twist Technology that optimizes the cable twist for simultaneous transmission of voice, data, video, security and high-power PoE
  • Premium jacketing materials that provide high performance when tested at 75 degrees Celsius, well above the 60-degree-Celsius TIA TSB-184 2009 industry standard
  • Stringent testing of cables simulating real-world conditions in Berk-Tek’s Tek Center that scores cables using a proprietary algorithm called the Converged Application Score, which measures cable performance beyond the tradition dB (decibel) criteria used by other manufacturers
  • The Leviton eXtreme Cat 6 system featuring industry-leading innovations, such as pair separation towers and patented dual-layer labeling, to support fast and easy termination of category-rated connectors
  • Leviton’s patented Retention Force Technology that protects connector tines from damage, increases system longevity, and saves on costly repairs
  • QuickPort patch panels, connectors and wallplates that provide seamless interchangeability and are ideal for any environment in need of quick moves, adds and changes
  • Leviton angled patch panels that allow cords to route directly into vertical managers from the panel, saving rack space by eliminating horizontal cable management
  • Advanced Leviton cable management tools in a fiber enclosure that enhance accessibility, reduce stress on fiber cables, and support multiple configurations

To achieve MRMC’s vision and provide a greater return on infrastructure investment, A/Z used Berk-Tek’s LANmark-1000 Category 6 Plenum UTP cables, Leviton eXtreme Category 6 UTP Connectors, and Leviton 48-port Angled QuickPort Patch Panels. To support MRMC’s network backbone, Berk-Tek’s 96-strand armored plenum Om3, 50-micron laser-optimized multimode fiber cable and Leviton Opt-X Ultra Rack-Mount Enclosures with LC connectors were deployed. Berk-Tek’s 12-strand singlemode optical fiber was also used for the backplane.

MRMC’s Level 1 ICU expansion to 13,000 square feet facilitated a new telemetry floor with 24 state-of-the-art private patient rooms.

“We partnered with Berk-Tek Leviton Technologies to deliver the project on time-and beyond customer expectations,” said Nault. A/Z’s extensive in-house design and engineering capabilities allowed it to serve as a one-source design build and EPCM provider that ultimately saved MRMC approximately $50,000 in project costs.

Joe Boczanowski, director of facilities at Milford Regional Medical Center, commented, “A/Z’s start-to-finish project capabilities, its commitment to excellence, wise choice of product vendors/partners, and ability to save costs over other engineering and construction firms empowered MRMC to adopt the latest technological innovations within an extremely constrained budget. The time A/Z spent on upfront design and engineering initiatives was critical to offering the communities we serve with advanced life-saving technologies.”

Leviton angled patch panels with eXtreme connectors offer excellent patch cord bend radius and easy installation.

Expanding to provide better patient care

Fully operational as of October 28, 2015, MRMC’s new building doubled the size of its lower Level 1 emergency department to nearly 30,000 square feet to accommodate an increase from 30 to 52 beds, and included new X-ray/CAT scan rooms, 10 behavioral health rooms, and a larger waiting room that connects to five treatment rooms just for children. Milford Regional is one of the few hospitals in the region that offers collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital physicians and MRMC emergency medicine physicians and nurses to offer exceptional pediatric care.

The medical center’s Level 1 ICU expansion included an increase from 4,600 to 13,000 square feet to facilitate a new telemetry floor with 24 state-of-the-art private patient rooms, allowing the hospital to convert multi-patient rooms in other areas to private rooms without reducing capacity. The large ICU rooms incorporated the latest healing innovations, such as new high-tech glass used in Europe that allows in the healing properties of sunshine and nature, but grows cloudy at the push of a button. The glass eliminates privacy curtains that can harbor infectious germs, which can compromise patient health and safety.

Berk-Tek’s singlemode, OM3 and LANmark-1000 copper cables achieved MRMC’s vision for its new emergency room and ICU expansion.

The expansion also included a rooftop tranquility garden and additional ground-floor parking for a total project expansion of 128,000 square feet. Areas of the roof and parking garage can be converted to additional floors for future expansion and growth. The prewired data and VISICU audiovisual system in MRMC’s new ICU facility is ready to launch the latest in telemetry technologies, allowing intensivists (physicians who specialize in ICU patient care) to remotely collaborate in real-time with other physicians and university medical researchers to diagnose patients and determine the best possible treatment and plan of care.

Installation highlights

More than ever, healthcare infrastructures are burdened by exploding data storage, stringent security regulations, and ever-increasing gigabit speeds and bandwidth requirements. To address these growing trends, 12-strand singlemode fiber cable was installed in the emergency room and ICU intermediate distribution frames (IDFs), ensuring MRMC is ready to meet future bandwidth demands driven by continuous emerging medical technologies.

Modular fiber cassettes make it easy to transition between array backbone cables.

From the data center located in Milford Regional’s Gannett Building (700 feet from the new extension), redundant 96-strand Om3 fiber cable was pulled to the lower level IDF closet in the new emergency room area. This process was repeated to the Level 1 ICU IDF. Cable runs went back to the data center for termination to create a reliable, redundant fiber backbone critical to any healthcare facility.

To support the new expansion’s advanced voice, data, video, and HDTV over IP requirements, more than 100 Axis IP surveillance cameras, and VISICU telemetry technologies, Berk-Tek’s LANmark-1000 Category 6 copper cables were selected. Eight-foot relay racks were also deployed to support future growth and expansion.

LANmark-1000 Plenum Category 6 UTP copper cables, with Leviton eXtreme Cat 6 UTP connectors, met the HDTV-over-IP, telemetry, voice, data, video and security goals for MRMC. Detailed information on Leviton connector technology can be found at leviton.com/copperconnectors.

“The superior design and properties of Berk-Tek’s Cat 6 cables, as well as strategic placement of cables, diminished alien crosstalk for high-performance transmission,” said Nault. The LANmark-1000 cables also connected more than 100 wireless access points, ensuring every room in the new emergency and ICU expansion reliably supports crucial wireless devices for medical applications and mobile devices used by healthcare staff and patients. And with patented Leviton Retention Force Technology (RFT), MRMC could rest easy knowing each connector would deliver long-lasting performance for the life of their wireless network.

From transmitting MRI images to life-saving video consultations and telemedicine, healthcare networks must deploy the most-reliable connectivity and cabling systems to ensure crisp transmission and low network latency.

Leviton’s patented Retention Force Technology delivers system longevity, reliability and durability, while protecting against damage and costly repairs.

The industry’s most stringent testing of cables using Berk-Tek’s Converged Application Score and the exclusive design of cables-including special jacketing materials and proprietary TEK-Twist Technology-ensure that the LANmark-1000 cables deployed at MRMC go beyond industry standards and decibel-only testing practiced by other manufacturers. The Converged Application Score considers performance in several key areas that are critical to the daily operation of a medical facility, including the following.

  • Media Loss Rate (MLR) for video applications
  • Mean Opinion Score (MOS) for VoIP applications
  • Frame Error Rate (FER) for data applications
  • Heat rise from PoE, indicating how efficiently cable can dissipate heat

Leviton’s patented Retention Force Technology enhances system longevity, ensuring unequaled durability and reliability required of demanding applications. The internal polymer spring supports tines and increases their resilience. Even when 4- or 6-pin plugs are inserted, the spring returns the tines to their pre-stress position, protecting against damage and saving on costly repairs.

Berk-Tek LANmark-1000 Category 6 cables include proprietary TEK-Twist Technology and above-standard testing for maximum performance.

By deploying Berk-Tek Leviton Technologies’ fiber and copper connectivity, MRMC can rely on a robust, future-ready IP network. Having achieved their network vision for a new emergency room and ICU expansion, MRMC is ready to respond proactively, efficiently, and cost-effectively to emerging medical technology. MRMC will continue to meet the growing requirements of their physicians, staff, patients and communities they serve, delivering the best healthcare available.

Susan Larson is marketing communications manager at Berk-Tek (www.berktek.com).Information on the Converged Application Score is available at berktek.us/EverythingIP.

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