Aruba Wi-Fi makes assisted living more comfortable and caring for seniors at Lorien Health Services.
Using innovative technologies to deliver exceptional care to senior citizens in assisted living and skilled nursing facilities is Michael Bowman’s mission.
“Everything is wireless,” explains Bowman, network engineer at Lorien Health Services. “Our caregivers are on the floor, where they need access to healthcare apps, and our residents want to stay connected with their families.”
Seeking an Enterprise-Grade Network
Lorien was founded 40 years ago, and is run by the same family that runs it today. The same patient-centered, family values still apply, but technology plays a bigger role across its 14 care facilities across Maryland, where it provides assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and other services.
“We needed to improve the performance and reliability of the wireless network for improved care delivery,” says Bowman.
The Aruba network is fantastic. I highly recommend the Aruba products and Aruba team. Michael Bowman, Network Engineer, Lorien Health Services
With the help of its partner, Carousel, Lorien selected Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. “As a premier healthcare service, our priority is providing top care for our patients and residents,” says Lou Grimmel, CEO of Lorien Health Services. “By partnering with Aruba, we have a network that allows us to achieve our business goals.”
Wi-Fi Pains Vanish
To ensure reliable access to clinical applications and support the growing use of mobile-health technology, Lorien deployed an enterprise-grade wireless network that includes Aruba 802.11ac access points (APs) and 7000 Series Mobility Controllers.
Gone are the days when nurses struggled to get connectivity for their tablets, holding their iPads up in the air in hopes of better connectivity, or crossed the floor to use a desk-bound computer. “We no longer have complaints from nurses that the Wi-Fi is better at their homes,” says Bowman. “Aruba delivers the performance and reliability we need to support our clinical applications and to provide better care to our residents.”
Improving patient care
“We’ve seen significant improvement in the efficiency of our clinical applications,” says Bowman. Mobile access to electronic medical records (EMR), pharmacy, and other clinical applications are critical for patient admissions, transfers, demographic tracking, and ongoing care.
The nurse call system, once a source of frustration, works reliably and ensures residents’ safety and comfort. Caregivers can swiftly access clinical applications from their tablets and other devices. Lorien uses Cerner CareTracker for long-term care and Cerner Point of Care to support care from patients’ bedsides. Now, clinicians can coordinate care better and save time by calling directly from CareTracker.
“Before, the voice capability in our facility care management apps didn’t work well, and now with the Aruba W-Fi, clinicians can make a call from their tablets or laptops,” says Bowman. With Aruba and the AppRF feature, IT has better control over applications and can prioritize voice and other applications and limit the bandwidth available to non-essential applications.
Innovative mobile health devices are improving quality of life for Lorien’s residents while making care less intrusive. “We’re very comfortable with the Aruba platform to support the latest medical technology,” says Bowman.
The network supports a patient health monitoring, a smart incontinence management system, Wi-Fi-connected medication carts, a building management system with smart thermostats, among other healthcare Internet of Things (IoT) uses.
Great wireless connectivity is an expectation not only of caregivers, but also residents and their families. With secure Wi-Fi, residents and their visitors can watch movies, check social media, and stay in touch from anywhere in the facilities.
State regulators also need secure wireless access for audits. With Aruba, Lorien can be confident that clinical, administrative, and guest traffic remain separate and secure, and that guest access is easy to offer.
Strong security is integrated into the Aruba network. Application-layer security and prioritization of video, voice, and other real-time applications is enabled through the stateful Policy Enforcement Firewall. It enforces access policies based on user roles, device types, app flows, and location. IT has a user-level awareness of all traffic across the network, and no longer has to manually configure static VLANs and access control lists to ensure security.
Threat protection is also integrated. RFProtect software prevents denial-of-service and man-in-the-middle attacks and mitigates over-the-air security threats that could interrupt life-critical services. RFProtect leverages the existing Aruba access points to simultaneously serve Wi-Fi clients and contain wireless threats, eliminating the need for sensor access points.
AirWave Optimizes Wi-Fi Health
Lorien uses AirWave to maintain the overall health of its Wi-Fi. With AirWave, IT can identify problems before there are disruptions to connectivity, app quality, and RF coverage. It uses AirWave to monitor client behavior, proactively troubleshoot application issues, and plan for capacity.
A Strong Foundation for Growth
With a strong focus on the residents’ quality of life, and a growing use of technology to increase comfort and care, Lorien was named among the Best Nursing Homes in 2016 by U.S. News and World Reports.
“The Aruba network is working very well,” says Bowman. “We are forward-thinking and we built our network architecture to be highly scalable, so we’re prepared for future growth.”
Telehealth is a growing part of Lorien’s business, as remote monitoring allows clinicians to provide ongoing care for seniors at home. With remote monitoring and healthy wireless network, Lorien can help residents stay in their homes longer with the confidence that someone is watching out for their health on a daily basis.
“The Aruba network is fantastic,” says Bowman. “I highly recommend the Aruba products and Aruba team.”