Erlanger Health System

2500+ Employees
Networking

Build a path to the future. Avaya’s advanced fabric networking technology takes SDN networking and cloud services to the next level. Reduce network outages, enjoy quicker access to information, and easily integrate new communications channels and applications. If you wish, do it all with your existing infrastructure.

Services
Team Engagement

Team engagement is the magic that happens when everyone in your workforce is connected effortlessly to the mission, to each other and to customers. When it works you feel it in your culture and on your balance sheet—and your customers feel it most. Barriers disappear. Productivity rises. Our team engagement solutions get you there.

"The Avaya network helps us do more with less, it’s doing everything we thought it would do.”

-Eric Hammer, Senior Director of Technical Services

Benefits

Increased Productivity
Network Scalability
Enhanced Collaboration

ERLANGER HEALTH SYSTEM BUILDS FOUNDATION FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION WITH AVAYA

Seventh-Largest US Hospital System Chooses Avaya Fabric Connect for Positive Network Prognosis

Digital transformation has been a top priority in recent years for healthcare organizations who believe that they can improve efficiency and costs while maintaining excellent patient care. Erlanger Health System, which prides itself on delivering exceptional care to patients, knew that it needed an extremely reliable, intelligent network to accommodate its planned Electronic Health Records (EHR) installation, as well as a communication system and wireless capabilities that would accommodate the latest patient care innovations.

The Chattanooga, TN-based hospital system adds devices to its network on a regular basis, everything from phones to terminals. It’s also preparing for a full rollout of EHR software from Epic Systems, and infrastructure cannot be a hindrance when Epic goes live in the near future. Erlanger Health System wanted to undergo full preventative care on its network so that its vision of being recognized as one of the top US hospitals for its use of technology would come to fruition.

CHALLENGES

  • Upgrade infrastructure to implement electronic health record system
  • Change over phone system from analog (except patient rooms)
  • Implement flexible, expandable network for future projects

VALUE CREATED

  • Easy to maintain, flexible, expandable network
  • Ability to do more with less
  • Easy to deploy phone system
  • Peace of mind

First, Build an Agile Network Foundation

With an eye on the future, Erlanger Health System wanted to mitigate the classic trade-off between price and innovation. Moving into the Top 100 of Hospitals & Health Networks Most Wired list requires a solution that is cost-effective and can be expanded along with the organization to support its current and future technology initiatives.

“One thing about healthcare is that, between Health Information Management and ensuring we comply with regulations and standards, we have to make sure we’re doing the right thing for our patients but also following the rules and guidelines set forth by Joint Commission,” says Eric Hammer, Senior Director of Technical Services.

To do this, Erlanger Health System put out an RFP and received bids from several vendors. It came down to flexibility and cost, and Erlanger chose Avaya for its network backbone – specifically, Avaya Fabric Connect Network based on Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) using Avaya Virtual Services Platform 9000 (VSP 9000), Avaya Virtual Services Platform 7000, and Avaya Ethernet Routing Switch 4850 (ERS 4850) switches. Erlanger began the deployment with the VSP 9000 core switches, using the VSP 7000 switches as the distribution layer and installing the ERS 4850 switches for the network closet. To make sure the deployment went smoothly, Erlanger hired four contractors and two network engineers to support its existing IT staff.

Advancing Patient and Staff Communications

At the same time, Erlanger Health System made the decision to take full advantage of its new Fabric Connect network by replacing its legacy phone system. The organization evaluated several solutions through RFPs but ultimately chose Avaya Aura Contact Center Elite because the cost per network port and phone port switch was lower – but would provide Erlanger Health System with powerful VoIP features and phone conferencing. Configuration and use is much easier; IT staffers with less experience are able to get the phones up and running quickly when a new one is needed, as opposed to having to program a switch. Additionally, end users are pleased with features like receiving their voicemail messages via a file in their email. As the organization opened Erlanger East Hospital, it was able to use the VoIP transport as its main phone system.

Preparing for Epic with a Vision Toward Simplicity

The network upgrade did more than prepare Erlanger Health System for its Epic implementation. It provides flexibility and expandability for the organization to continue moving toward its goal to become one of the Top 100 Most Wired hospitals. The system is easier to maintain, and certified engineers aren’t needed to make changes in the cores. The network engineers can make changes on the edge, and the system has been rock solid ever since.

“It’s doing everything we thought it would do, and the Avaya network helps us do more with less,” says Hammer. There is more than enough bandwidth, users are happy that applications load faster, and Hammer is confident that the network is now ready for the Epic EHR deployment.

Erlanger Health System installed its new network and other Avaya products as part of a phased deployment. The IT team left Avaya Identity Engines (IDE) for last, which is now being deployed to support Wi-FI user authentication as Step 1. The next steps are to use IDE to authenticate group types and support network access control policies.

For Erlanger Health System, the biggest benefits of moving to Avaya are efficiency, peace of mind, and cost effectiveness. “We don’t want to spend more than we need to get a stable, functional product,” Hammer says. Avaya provided that and more – communication, support, and assistance to make sure the deployment runs the way Erlanger Health System needs it.

Adds David Peterson, CIO, “Avaya has proven to be a partner to Erlanger – they are there when we need them, and they have a strong team for sales and support.”

SOLUTIONS

  • Avaya VSP 9000 Series
  • Avaya VSP 7000 Series
  • Avaya ERS 4850 Series
  • Avaya Aura Call Center Elite
  • Avaya Aura Call Center Elite Multichannel Feature Pack
  • Avaya Session Manager
  • Avaya System Manager
  • Avaya Workforce Optimization
  • Avaya Communication Manager
  • Avaya Aura Messaging
  • Avaya Presence Services
  • Avaya Control Manager
  • Avaya Experience Portal
  • Avaya Call Management System
  • Avaya Identity Engines
  • Avaya Aura Conferencing
  • Avaya Multi-Media
  • Avaya Utility Server
  • Avaya Secure Access Link
  • Avaya WebLM

About Erlanger Health System

The Erlanger Health System is a multi-hospital system with five hospitals based in Chattanooga: the Baroness Hospital, Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, Erlanger North Hospital, Erlanger East Hospital, and Erlanger Bledsoe Hospital, located in Pikeville, TN. Erlanger is the seventh largest public hospital in the United States and has been recognized as “Chattanooga’s number one hospital” by U.S. News and World Report.

Erlanger is the tri-state region’s only Level I Trauma Center, providing the highest level of trauma care for adults. Erlanger has five LIFE FORCE air ambulances in its fleet, two based in Tennessee, two in North Georgia and one in Winchester, TN. Children’s Hospital at Erlanger houses the region’s only Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, as well as a pediatric trauma team, Emergency Center, and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Erlanger also serves as the region’s only academic teaching hospital, affiliated with the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, both the Knoxville and Chattanooga campuses.

Each year, more than a quarter of a million people are treated by the team of healthcare professionals who are part of Erlanger.

Erlanger is the seventh largest public hospital in the United States.

CUSTOMER PROFILE
  • Headquarters:

  • United States

  • # Employees:

  • 5500

The Erlanger Health System is a multi-hospital system with five hospitals based in Chattanooga: the Baroness Hospital, Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, Erlanger North Hospital, Erlanger East Hospital, and Erlanger Bledsoe Hospital, located in Pikeville, TN. Erlanger is the seventh largest public hospital in the United States and has been recognized as “Chattanooga’s number one hospital” by U.S. News and World Report.

What our Customers are saying
"We were looking for a partner, not a vendor. Avaya has proven to be a partner to Erlanger – they are there when we need them, and they have a strong team for sales and support."

Read more testimonials >
  • David Peterson

  • Erlanger Health System