Aerohive WLAN simplifies networking for healthcare

[Guest blogger] By Chris Fadrowski, Senior Director of IT Infrastructure, Brookdale Senior Living
I recently came across an article pointing out that senior living communities have been slow to catch on when it comes to enterprise wireless technology, citing statistics that less than 10% of these types of communities are wireless, and only seven to 9 percent use enterprise-grade wireless systems.
Many senior living communities are looking for a wireless solution only as a way to provide residents and guests a way to access the Internet, but an enterprise-class wireless solution enables healthcare organizations to make wireless the primary access layer, enabling more advanced levels of care.
As Senior Director of IT Infrastructure for Brookdale Senior Living, the largest provider of senior housing and senior care in the industry, I know what it’s like to operate with limited budgets, staff and resources, but yet be tasked to provide higher levels of care, with greater efficiency, accuracy and security.
An enterprise wireless implementation, even in challenging environments like healthcare, is greatly simplified with solutions from Aerohive Networks
We began to look at the wireless access in our operations several years ago, recognizing the need for an enterprise-grade WLAN to service our 645 assisted living and retirement communities in 35 states across the United States. At the time, we had wireless environments in several of our locations, but they required controller-based architecture, which carried some risk being a potential single point of failure unless we invested in redundant hardware at each location and at the corporate datacenter. This redundancy came with a high price tag. 
Our primary goal was to provide excellent care with high levels of accuracy and uptime, but we needed to have portable access for emerging technologies surrounding Electronic Medical Records (EMR). We also needed a WLAN that could meet HIPPA-grade security requirements and comply with Sarbanes-Oxley, provide Internet access for guests and their families, who often use applications such as Skype to connect with relatives who may live far away. 
From all the research we conducted internally at Brookdale, I wish I could emphasize to other health care colleagues that it is possible to deploy a cost-effective solution that delivers enterprise-class WiFi, with network management and security. We considered many vendors and consulted many leaders and analysts in the industry and found the solutions from Aerohive were not only dramatically more innovative and simple to implement, but also an overall superior solution. By eliminating the need for a controller at each location, we were also able to save considerable cost.
We chose Aerohive to provide a wireless network across our entire organization and we’re in the process of ramping up all 645 sites, which at the end of the project will include over 6,000 Aerohive Access Points. We installed Aerohive’s HiveManager at the datacenter in our corporate office to easily manage the network across all sites. 
Aerohive has enabled us to provide a resilient wireless network for our residents and guests, and given us mobility we desired for resident care.
To read more about our full deployment and to view a video profile of Brookdale Senior Living, please see the case study here


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