Improving the Delivery of Care Inside DHA - Heading to DHITS

jimj Jim Johnson July 24, 2018
We’ve reached the middle of the summer season. That means it’s time for the Defense Health Agency’s Defense Health Information Technology Symposium, aka DHITS, in Orlando, Florida. If you’re attending, our home base is booth 701. Our partnerships with DHA facilities have grown as quickly as DHITS itself. Thirteen years ago, Ruckus technology supported four hospitals. Today, that number is 54 and growing fast. We’re proud of the contribution we make on the IT side, allowing DHA facilities to focus more of their time and attention on what really matters – the delivery of care to servicemen and women and their dependents. DHA facilities want to work with Ruckus because our technology is better, provides superior customer service and represents a better value. The ICX® family of fixed form-factor switches works together to deliver a complete, scalable, and high-performance network solution that supports today’s demanding healthcare IT environment. Our switches leverage our innovative Campus Fabric technology, which provides simplified network deployment and management, scale-out networking, and investment protection with the industry’s lowest total cost of ownership. What this translates to is an infrastructure foundation that can deliver a decade of service, vs. competitor equipment that requires extensive and disruptive hardware updates every 3-4 years. Our technology is always standards-based, while competitors attempt to “lock-in” customers with proprietary protocols that may or may not support the thousands of devices and systems operating at a typical DHA facility. These forced, “rip and replace” upgrades take time and resources away from care and can really give the IT department a bad rap. Here’s an example. Ruckus works with a major DHA medical center that is still going strong eight years after their initial deployment of Ruckus technology. Over that period the hospital has spent approximately $1.7 – 1.8 million on infrastructure. Contrast that to another location using a competitor’s technology. Their initial deployment was at the same time as our customer, roughly eight years ago. Three years after that, they were forced to upgrade their switches. And the four years after that, they again had to upgrade. Over roughly the same period this facility has spent approximately $8 million on their infrastructure. Project these costs over decades, and you can see how it siphons money away from the actual delivery of care. When we talk to hospitals, we like to use the analogy of buying a house. When buying a house, there is a myriad of details to consider and features to inspect – floor plan, the lot, condition of the roof, etc. One thing you wouldn’t spend too much time on is the plumbing – just make sure it’s in good condition and that it works. You certainly would not expect to have to upgrade the plumbing just three years after moving in, then again, a few years later. It’s the same with a hospital’s IT system. Yes, it’s vital in today’s healthcare environment that the IT infrastructure be powerful and advanced enough to support all the various systems involved with the delivery of care today. But it should never be the main focus, and it’s unconscionable that other companies are selling equipment that needs constant upgrades. As the move to mobility sweeps across healthcare, we’re excited to talk about our wireless products with customers and prospects at DHITS. Many facilities are interested in deploying reliable guest Wi-Fi networks, which can help keep patients and their families more up-to-date on the care being delivered. Here again, Ruckus technology delivers more performance and delivers far more flexibility for implementation, from the switch all the way to the edge of the network. Unlike other manufacturers, smaller Ruckus deployments require no controller, and larger ones let the IT team decide whether to manage on-premises or via the cloud. Those are the main reasons why 70 percent of the hospitality market – and 86 percent of the world’s luxury properties – rely on Ruckus Networks for Wi-Fi technology. Hospital IT departments often are challenged by limited staff and budgets, so they appreciate this industry leadership when we speak with them. Hospitals can also benefit from the Ruckus Cloudpath Enrollment System. Cloudpath is software/SaaS that delivers secure network access and policy management for any user, and any device, on any network. It streamlines network onboarding and authentication for BYOD, guest users and IT-owned devices—including IoT devices. The software increases security and reduces IT workload while providing a great end-user onboarding experience. Over the past 13 years, we’ve become true partners to the DHA facilities we support. We bring cutting-edge technology that is proven by the results of our customers, and the leadership positions Ruckus has gained in the private sector. We’re hoping to make new friends this year, and to spread the word – stop spending so much on the plumbing!

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Jim Johnson


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