Comcast Business provides NJ healthcare network with Ethernet services

Posted on Aug 4, 2013 in Industry News, News

Comcast Business, a unit of cable MSO Comcast Cable, says it will supply a variety of Ethernet services to the new Inspira Health Network in New Jersey. The healthcare network, which comprises the resources of South Jersey Healthcare and Underwood-Memorial Hospital, will use the Ethernet services to transfer high-resolution radiology images, internal office communications and documents, and electronic medical records (EMRs), as well as collaboration among physicians, according to Comcast.

The Inspira Health Network has been established to offer primary, emergent, and specialty care to patients throughout Cumberland, Salem, Gloucester, Atlantic, and Camden counties in New Jersey. Network facilities include three hospitals, four multi-specialty health centers, and dozens of outpatient sites that bring the total number of facilities on the network to more than 60. Comcast will link these sites via a blend of Ethernet-based services:

  • Five 1-Gbps Ethernet Private Line connections that now run between four locations: Inspira Medical Center Vineland, Inspira Medical Center Elmer, Inspira Medical Center Woodbury, and Inspira Health Center Bridgeton
  • Eleven new Ethernet Private Line connections with speeds of between 10 and 100 Mbps that connect eight remote sites to Bridgeton and three remote patient facilities to Elmer
  • Six 6-Mbps Ethernet Private Line over hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) lines that now connect two remote sites to Elmer and four to Woodbury
  • Two 100-Mbps Ethernet Dedicated Internet connections at both the Vineland and Elmer locations to improve Internet access speeds.

With the exception of the 6-Mbps services, all of the Ethernet connections will use direct fiber-optic cable connections, according to a source.

The Inspira Health Network also will use the Ethernet connectivity to support its Health Information Exchange, an online portal that allows physicians to access a variety of patient and office data. The healthcare organization also is testing a similar portal for its patients, which it expects to complete in the next few months.

“One of the great things about our Comcast Ethernet services is the ability to reroute our data traffic through a separate private line to access our files from any of our connected locations. This, combined with being able to quickly scale up our bandwidth with a simple phone instead of a site visit, has allowed our doctors and nurses to be more responsive to our patients by having all the information at their fingertips, regardless of location,” said Thomas Pacek, vice president and chief information officer for Inspira Health Network. “As we acquire new practices, having a technology partner that can provide us with reliable connectivity, high speeds, and vast network coverage will allow us to continue doing what we need to do as a premier health network.”

“Ethernet has become an increasingly popular connectivity solution for many healthcare organizations that are constantly struggling with wanting to improve patient care while still being cognizant of costs, especially as the industry shifts to digital healthcare,” said Kevin Conmy, vice president of Comcast Business, Freedom Region. “Comcast has made a number of investments in making its fiber infrastructure broadly available and completely diverse from other networks so that hospitals, physicians’ offices, and patient care facilities across regionally dispersed locations can all be connected and benefit from the scalability, reliability and speeds that Ethernet offers.”