Niagara Health System / 2013

The Client:

Formed in 2000, the Niagara Health System (NHS) is Ontario’s biggest and most intricate multi-site hospital network and Canada’s leading joint healthcare facility. With seven sites throughout the Niagara region, NHS provides a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services to nearly half a million residents across a dozen municipalities. NHS includes over 4,000 employees, 600 physicians and 1,000 volunteers.

The Challenge:

In Canadian hospitals, millions of dollars are wasted each year because information doesn’t flow efficiently. When the right data doesn’t get into the right hands at the right times, the result is unnecessary paperwork, diagnostic mistakes, and redundant treatments, all leading to needless spending.

To tackle the problem, NHS decided to replace two aging – and costly – facilities with a new, modern building that would use state-of-the-art technology to make information move faster, smarter, and more accurately. Along with Infrastructure Ontario, Plenary Health Niagara, PCL and JCLP, NHS tasked Plan Group to design and deliver an infrastructure for the new building that would reduce operational costs, meet environmental standards, and be adaptable to technological advancements.

Plan Group’s Solution:

It was critical for us to devise an infrastructure plan that would deliver operational efficiencies in the short term and allow easy integration of new technologies in the future – always keeping cost and patient experience top of mind. We took a hard look at the specific goals for the new facility, the technologies available, and the long-term technological and industry trends.

Ultimately, we proposed an innovative, game-changing solution: a converged communications network. Based on a wireless distributor antenna system, this network is designed to seamlessly handle all of the hospital’s data and communications needs via a single system. From medical records and data retrieval to safety and telecommunications, the new system – the first of its kind in the country – would take advantage of interconnectivity and digital intelligence to make sure the right people would receive the right information at the right time. The goal of the new system was maximum efficiency at minimum cost. And when technology changed – as it always does – it could be incorporated into the infrastructure as seamlessly as possible.

The Result:

When NHS commences operations in Spring 2013, the new, million-square-foot complex will become a truly advanced, modern healthcare facility that completely transforms how information is shared. The ground-breaking converged communications network will drive operational costs down, help patients get what they need when they need it, and anticipate technological change. The network will ensure information flows more efficiently, allowing caregivers to make fast, informed healthcare decisions.