Redstone Communications today announces that it has successfully completed the two-year design and implementation of a major integrated IP network solution, which is streamlining systems and providing faster access to care at Kings College Hospital NHS Trust in London.

The new infrastructure is based around a core Cisco Layer-3 IP network designed to support a range of high-bandwidth applications for 4500 networked staff including an electronic patient record (EPR) system which allows consultants to order tests and view results electronically, in clinics and on the ward. A Cisco wireless LAN supports secure mobile access to data across clinical areas.

Kings College is a world-renowned centre of excellence for patient care, teaching and research. When it identified an urgent need for a new communications infrastructure to replace its decade-old network, Redstone responded with a comprehensive, future-proof solution that would deliver the bandwidth, security and resilience required to support new technologies that deliver faster assessment and treatment for patients. Consequently, Redstone was appointed under a three-year Framework Agreement to provide Kings with all aspects of network design, implementation and maintenance.

The EPR system will help Kings meet Government targets to widen secure access to electronic patient records. Meanwhile the wireless LAN will provide clinical staff with patient records and other vital information via laptops, tablet PCs, PDAs or any other mobile computing devices, which may be introduced.

Nick Penlington, network team manager at Kings College said, Our aim was to implement a single new network for all users that would be fast, scaleable and resilient and, very importantly, meet all stringent security criteria outlined by British Standards and the NHS. We also needed a high level of control over traffic and user activity. Redstone won resoundingly with a comprehensive response that addressed every aspect of the tender in great detail.

The introduction of the Layer-3 IP network was a massively complex project with huge potential for error. It was the first of its kind in an NHS environment and represented a radical change in technology for the Trust.

He continued, The Kings solution sets the standard for integrated switched networks in the NHS. We anticipated there would be some issues associated with the introduction of such a leading edge solution but Redstone resolved any difficulties we encountered and the operation of the Trust continued unimpeded throughout the project, which is a real credit to all of those involved.

Rob Bruce, product development director of Redstone Communications said, The demand for high bandwidth applications and an increasing reliance on networking for every aspect of hospital life makes Layer-3 networking the solution of choice for NHS Trusts. No other technology can provide the resilience, flexibility and security which are so essential in a hospital environment.

The new network uses Cisco core and edge switches and was rolled out on a geographical basis, segment-by-segment, until all 4500 users were connected. Among the first to benefit were staff using the radiology department who make extensive use of high resolution electronic x-rays which can now be transmitted across the network wherever they are needed.

Redstone is approved to supply communications products and services by the NHS purchasing and supply agency (PASA) for design, supply, implementation and support of voice, video and data solutions across all 12 categories of the NHS Framework Agreement. As a fully integrated communications service provider it delivers specialist voice, data, Internet and intelligent building solutions for numerous NHS Trust organisations.

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