TMCnet - World's Largest Communications and Technology Community



tmc logo
May 2010 | Volume 13 / Number 5
Getting Vertical: Healthcare

The Rainbow Connection: New Network Provides Rehab Facility Cost Savings, Other Efficiencies

By Lou Sommi

Healthcare providers’ IT departments walk a delicate tightrope of supporting new technologies and bandwidth-intensive applications across dispersed locations while controlling costs. And Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers, which operates 45 treatment centers in the Midwest that provide services for individuals with brain and spinal cord injuries, is no exception.

Until recently, Rainbow Rehabilitation was operating and maintaining separate networks for each location. Performing manual processes and procedures relative to these separate networks created tremendous management challenges. In addition, the existing infrastructure did not support the bandwidth-intensive applications the organization needed to better support its employees and patients.

Rainbow Rehabilitation knew it needed to leverage cost-effective, advanced technology to deliver improved communications and streamlined processes, which lead to better quality patient care. It also needed to secure electronic medical records as they moved between locations. So it chose to implement a communications network to serve as the backbone of the organization’s data operations and sought out key partners to help take the project to the next level.

After reviewing several options with its integration partner, Cygnus, Rainbow Rehabilitation selected Cavalier, a telecommunications service provider, to deliver a complete solution that integrates its 45 sites with an MPLS infrastructure, Internet access, VoIP service and PSTN voice lines, laying the foundation for current and future needs.

“We selected Cavalier as our telecommunications service provider and Cygnus as our network integration partner because both demonstrated their expertise and experience to manage this type of complex project,” says Greg La Scala, director of IT at Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers. “Because our voice and data applications go through one connection, we were able to save money while gaining a robust, secure network.”

The initial network integration is complete, and the company’s scheduling application is up and running, which allows employees to provide availability, check time off, put in for vacation time, and request more shifts. The time and attendance application is scheduled for roll out later. Rainbow Rehabilitation also plans to implement additional patient care systems that will improve the efficiency of caregivers, enabling them to collaborate and plan for patient care virtually and electronically.

With the infrastructure in place, Rainbow Rehabilitation is able to manage all data functions at all facilities from one central location. The new design allows for improved network speed and performance by shifting many of its shared applications to the network core by colocating servers at Cavalier’s secure data center. This gives Rainbow Rehabilitation the needed space, unlimited bandwidth and the best possible network performance. For example, by centralizing its scheduling, time and attendance servers on the Cavalier MPLS backbone, Rainbow provides faster response to users and further empowers employees who previously couldn’t access the application.

With Cavalier’s integrated network solution, Rainbow Rehabilitation provides connections to internal applications without compromising the speeds needed to transfer electronic medical records. Cavalier’s MPLS network also provides the highest level of security to maintain compliance with HIPAA privacy and security rules.

“We’re layering additional services onto a network that previously was set aside for internal data applications only,” says La Scala. “We have been impressed with the network and entire process, and the initial results show that our ability to manage operations is vastly improved. We have managed to create a positive impact on our employees and patients.” IT

Lou Sommi is senior vice president of marketing with Cavalier (

» Internet Telephony Magazine Table of Contents

Today @ TMC
Upcoming Events
ITEXPO West 2012
October 2- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas
The World's Premier Managed Services and Cloud Computing Event
Click for Dates and Locations
Mobility Tech Conference & Expo
October 3- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas
Cloud Communications Summit
October 3- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas