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Monument Health Delivers Optimal Patient Care with An Aruba Unified Network

Community-based Healthcare System Upgrades Network for Evolving Healthcare Needs

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company announced that Monument Health, a community-based, integrated healthcare system headquartered in Rapid City, South Dakota, has completed the first of its three year comprehensive network overhaul, replacing its Cisco equipment with an Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform)-based infrastructure, to help enable exceptional patient care.

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Monument Health offers care in 33 medical specialties, serving 20 communities across western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming via six hospitals, eight specialty and surgical centers, and more than 40 medical clinics and care centers. To enable its 4,500+ physicians and caregivers to make better decisions and access critical information from wherever they work within the organization, Monument’s IT team knew that its aging network infrastructure had to be replaced.

“To capitalize on real-time data collection and communications, and to ensure that vital information won’t suffer from delays or disruption due to poor network performance, it was clear we needed a more modern and mobile-first approach,” said Stephanie LahrMD, CHCIO, and Chief Information Officer and Chief Medical Information Officer for Monument Health.

While the IT team considered replacing its existing equipment with newer versions of the same, they quickly realized that the network had to become a foundational building block that would help meet the needs of their evolving healthcare system.

Said Lahr, “With the availability of real-time information, advancements in IoT that will necessitate connecting and tracking new devices, the push for more mobility, and the need to provide more consumer-centric facilities, the network had to become a unified foundation for these critical and still-evolving capabilities.”

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Working with partner WrightCore for planning and implementation, Monument Health outfitted its new Heart & Vascular Institute building with an all-Aruba infrastructure, and began a three-year roll-out of Aruba solutions across all of its other facilities, starting with its flagship hospital in Rapid City. Monument is installing Aruba CX Series core switches in its two data centers, followed by Aruba Wi-Fi 6 access points and CX Series access switches across all locations, as well as ClearPass for network access control and policy management. In addition, the new Heart & Vascular Institute will utilize Aruba Location-Based Services to enable wayfinding in the facility.

Evan Grosz, Director of IT Technical Services for Monument Health, said his team is excited about the greater performance and reliability of the Aruba infrastructure, but even more so about the time savings.

“The simplicity Aruba delivers saves substantial administrative time for our IT team,” Grosz noted.

ClearPass was another key factor in Monument Health’s decision to choose Aruba. Grosz and his team are eager to use ClearPass’s fingerprinting and automatic classification of devices, to replace what was previously a time-consuming and manual process.

Grosz said, “Being able to configure and fingerprint a device like a printer once and then have all of the same devices automatically placed into the appropriate segregated VLAN is huge.”

The new Aruba network supports Monument Health’s key healthcare applications such as MyChart and Epic, but even more importantly, it enables new, cost-saving applications like Voice over IP for nurse communications – something that was impossible with the previous network infrastructure due to performance and reliability issues. In addition, Monument Health is using Aruba Location-based Services in the new building, adding Aruba beacons and a mobile app, to enable wayfinding.

“Since we weren’t able to have a grand, in-person launch, the wayfinding capabilities were helpful to get both staff and visitors acquainted with the new building and help patients find their way around,” said Grosz. He added that the IT team will look to expand their use of wayfinding in other areas of the hospital and across their entire campus in the future.

Said Lahr, “Having a modern, unified network foundation is a game-changer for Monument Health that will allow us to adapt quickly to a rapidly evolving healthcare environment and ultimately, set new standards of care for our patients.”

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