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DATA ACCESS

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HIEM and BNSF deploying the fiber network.

operation software and outsourced net- work operations center (NOC) services also ensured that HIEM could focus on its core mission, once the network was fully operational. Beyond reducing their costs, the strategy of building their own private network also allowed HIEM to create a more sustainable business model by leasing excess network capacity to lo- cal telecommunication providers and other partners in the region to generate revenues. “Cyan was a true partner throughout the network design and implementa- tion process,” says Kip Smith, HIEM executive director. “They helped us meet unforeseen challenges and create economically viable solutions quickly and easily using Blue Planet planning and operation apps.” T e deployment of the HIEM pri-

vate fi ber network was not without its unique challenges. Working with its partner, BNSF, to lay fi ber along its train route, which traversed the rugged and mountainous Continental Divide, was no small task. But HIEM successfully dedicated the 425-mile private fi ber network in August of 2012.

Improving productivity, saving lives

The HIEM private fiber network has been shown to dramatically reduce the time required to perform virtually any healthcare function dealing with remote access to information, thereby

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improving productivity and – in many cases – saving lives. Cyan’s solutions enabled HIEM to

increase the transmission rate of EMR systems, saving a local clinic with fi ve physicians upwards of 2,000 hours each year. Additionally, the network improves image resolution in X-rays and CT scans that are delivered from HIEM member Kalispell Regional Medical Center’s remote mammography coach, so that healthcare professionals are able to more rapidly diagnose and prescribe treatment to rural patients. According to Smith, “Cyan helped HIEM improve healthcare services and the quality of life in some of the most rural areas of Montana, especially regarding trauma care. Activity that used to take an hour or two – sending X-rays, diagnosing injuries, consulting with experts and initiating patient trans- portation – can now be done in seconds or minutes.” Going forward, HIEM plans to expand connectivity for professional healthcare education through the Uni- versity of Montana, Salish Kootenai College, Flathead Valley Community College and Blackfeet Community Col- lege, as well as adding additional health- care sites. HIEM also plans to build true redundancy into their network to ensure that they are never at risk of losing the vital connection the system provides to ensure superior patient care and, ultimately, save lives.

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