NHS Human Services Improves Clinician Productivity, Delivers Better Care With Aruba Wireless Infrastructure
Aruba Networks (News - Alert), Inc. (NASDAQ:ARUN) today announced that NHS Human Services, a leader in community-based, behavioral healthcare, has replaced its Cisco (News - Alert) wireless network with an Aruba wireless infrastructure. Using the new infrastructure, NHS is enabling a distributed computing environment that provides the flexibility, performance and security the provider needs to ensure a high-level of care for its 50,000+ consumers.
NHS provides integrated services in the areas of mental health, addictive diseases, autism, education, intellectual/developmental disabilities, juvenile justice, therapeutic family care and other specialized services. The organization has experienced significant growth in the past six years, acquiring two companies and nearly doubling its employee numbers to more than 10,000. The non-profit receives the bulk of its funding from the state of Pennsylvania and relies on a very lean IT staff of only three network engineers to support 600 locations. In addition to the NHS offices, clinicians work in a variety of locations including community-based homes and schools, so choosing a network infrastructure that is easy to deploy and manage was critical for the organization.
Previously, NHS had deployed Cisco Aironet access points but found that they didn't offer the level of management and visibility, or the performance needed for the multitude of distributed locations NHS serves. As the company grew, the need to connect more mobile devices - both corporate-issued and personal - also increased and NHS realized that providing a secure, enterprise-class infrastructure was paramount to success. Working with partner Corporate Networking Inc. (CNI) of Worcester, Pennsylvania, NHS evaluated products from Cisco/Meraki and Aerohive (News - Alert), but determined that Aruba was the right choice for its new wireless infrastructure.
"Although we're a Cisco shop on the wired side, we just didn't have the confidence in their wireless infrastructure," said Joe Trodden, Network Manager, NHS Human Services. "We have a complex, hybrid environment and Aruba gave us the flexibility to pick and choose the right solution for each location, and then gave us the ability to connect and manage it all easily and cost-effectively."
NHS chose a combination of Aruba Instant controllerless access points and Remote Access Points (RAPs), enabling high-quality wireless connectivity that was fast and easy to deploy in all of its many, distributed locations. NHS is also using Aruba's Airwave Network Management for centralized configuration, visibility, troubleshooting and reporting, and Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager to support clinician access as well as its recently implemened employee Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) initiative. Working in concert with NHS's MobileIron Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform, ClearPass gives NHS visibility into exactly who is connecting to the network and with which mobile devices. In the healthcare environment where all data must be protected and organizations must comply with HIPAA regulations, the granular insight that ClearPass provides into network usage is invaluable.
"We're managing just over 6,000 total wireless assets and approximately 3,500 laptops," added Trodden. "And because we're moving to a more mobile workforce every day where, eventually, clinicians will transition from laptops to tablets and smartphones, we had to put in place a wireless infrastructure that would support our current needs, while giving us room to expand services such as telehealth in the future."
One of the other key drivers for deploying the new Aruba infrastructure was support for some of NHS's unique applications. For example, the organization uses a specialized behavior health application called Netsmart Avatar that allows staff to travel to homes or schools and quickly conduct assessments, download and upload case information and then store and sync all of the information including reporting and billing via a cloud-based service. From a business standpoint, pairing the Netsmart application with the new wireless infrastructure has allowed NHS to move from what was previously a paper-based process to an automated, electronic process. According to Trodden, the resulting improvements in employee productivity and efficiency are beginning to have a significant impact on patient care.
"Now that our clinicians have a fast, easy and secure way to perform their timekeeping and reporting, they can focus more on consumer care," he said. "These are clinicians, not technicians, so eliminating the burden of carrying around network cables or worrying about how and where they will connect, allows them to deliver a better experience to our consumers."
As NHS employees use more mobile devices and applications, NHS plans to implement ClearPass Onboard and ClearPass Guest to securely onboard these devices. NHS is also investigating the use of assistive and Smart Home technologies that enable a higher level of in-residence support and care for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. In August, the company conducted a special pilot project wherein consumers in such a Smart Home environment used iPads connected to the wireless network to self-report and answer questions about their well-being. With the Aruba wireless network as a foundation and the success of projects like these, NHS is excited about the potential for even greater improvements.
Jeff Dolce (News - Alert), Area Vice President for Aruba Networks noted, "NHS is the perfect example of an organization that is adapting to its increasingly distributed and mobile workforce and, in fact, is using these characteristics to improve the services it delivers to clients. With the right wireless infrastructure in place, organizations like NHS can improve their internal operations, but more importantly, deliver enhanced services to their end customers."
About Aruba Networks, Inc.
Aruba Networks is a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise. The company designs and delivers Mobility-Defined Networks that empower IT departments and #GenMobile, a new generation of tech-savvy users who rely on their mobile devices for every aspect of work and personal communication. To create a mobility experience that #GenMobile and IT can rely upon, Aruba Mobility-Defined Networks™ automate infrastructure-wide performance optimization and trigger security actions that used to require manual IT intervention. The results are dramatically improved productivity and lower operational costs.
Listed on the NASDAQ and Russell 2000® Index, Aruba is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions. To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products visit Airheads Social at http://community.arubanetworks.com.
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