I don't find myself being caught up into technical details on a regular basis but sometimes it is just plain cool. We started looking at the NEAT-PATCH system a couple of years ago. We have used it with various degrees of success in our legacy wiring closets. Challenges include adapting existing patch panels to the system and dealing with low port-density areas and the need to juggle cabling.
We recently completed a Phase I expansion of our Mother/Baby unit and took the opportunity to make the wiring closet a new standard and a bit of a showcase. We provided for adequate port density so that day-to-day IDF changes are a thing of the past. The minimal additional investment in switching infrastructure ultimately spills over into patient safety as we do not have to constantly deal with physical patch management and the associated human error. As a result configuration stays consistent, staff can perform valuable work instead of manual labor, we end up with an extremely clean looking result, and it stays that way. As a result of clean documentation within the switch config all new port enablement and assignment changes can be handled remotely without requiring physical access to the closet.
As a reference, and in regard to patient safety, in this area with have both pulse oximetry and fetal monitors running on the IT wired/wireless network - relying on this technology to feed back into central stations and surveliance boards. This IDF is home to the wireless access points, wired centrals/boards, and a fully VoIP telephony deployment.
I had littleto do with this outside of some photography but I feel our team did an excellent job and it is a great example of how an IDF in a medical facility should look.
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