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22 November 2011 HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY 800.663.3412

IT requirements of such facilities. Here are just a few of the key requirements and considerations. High-speed performance: Hospitals today need to quickly transmit larger fi le sizes, such as digital diagnostic im- ages (CAT, MRI, PET scans, etc.), some of which can run as large as 300 MB per image. One patient case fi le alone can contain many such images, for a total of up to 9,000 MB. A fi le of this size would take more than a minute of download over a 1 Gb/s network, but the same size fi le would take only about seven seconds over a 10 Gb/s network. In an emergency situation, that time differential could mean life or death for the patient. Addressing this need, a key specifi cation of TIA-1179 relates specifi cally to signal transmission media selection. For all new healthcare instal- lations, the standard recommends using the highest performing media whenever possible, and specifi es category 6a ca- bling capable of supporting 10 Gb/s transmission speeds. Maximum reliability: Because hos- pitals exist to provide essential services necessary to ensure patient health and safety, many areas therein can be se- verely impacted by network downtime. This is particularly true of the ICU, OR and other critical care areas. To address this issue, the new standard provides for route diversity and redundancy in the cabling infrastructure by requir- ing a minimum of two diverse cable pathways between the main service entrance facility, data center, telecom rooms and any space designated as a critical care area. Higher density: One of the most significant differences between the healthcare facility and commercial building standards is that hospitals re- quire greater density to support more data-intensive applications and they are urged to allow for future growth, both in terms of physical space and cabling density. Cabling for various systems must be able to share pathways

between telecom rooms and healthcare spaces without experiencing perfor- mance degradation and, in TRs and data centers where cabling terminates to patch panels for connecting to switches and routers, higher density installation solutions are needed to manage the higher number of terminations in less space.

Because hospitals exist to provide essential services necessary to ensure patient health and safety, many areas therein can be severely impacted by network downtime. This is particularly true of the ICU, OR and other critical care areas.

Maximum safety, security and administration: Because healthcare networks directly support life systems, network safety, security and adminis- tration are of utmost importance. In particular areas of a hospital network, such as pediatrics and psychiatric wards, it may be appropriate to deploy tamper-proof work area outlets to avoid downtime and/or costly damage to network connections. The TIA- 1179 standard recommends the use of colored cables, colored jacks or keyed connectivity to maintain segregation for certain networks, enhance security and assist in network management and administration.

The new standard also provides guidelines on a host of other net- work infrastructure challenges, in- cluding sustainability and growth, infection control procedures, resis- tance to EMI/RFI interference and more. Information can be found at


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