Prompted by the construction of a new hospital, the Children's Hospital in Denver is installing a new enterprise-wide network. The project will link 11 Childrens Care centers, 2 other campus facilities, 400 outreach
clinics, and 1.44 million square feet in a new 10 story 236 bed hospital
building. The deployment will include 800 access points, 5,000 VoIP phones, centralized
voicemail, conferencing, and other collaborative applications. The
hospital has already installed a distributed antenna wireless system
from Mobile Access.

Whew! And all for a mere $25 million.

“We’re trying to far exceed what out (sic) needs are today,” [Ryan] Frymire [project manager] said, to
pick systems that will not require a forklift upgrade” by the time the
ROI is realized. In choosing technology, he said, the hospital looked
for “end-to-end” or “big-picture” offerings rather than “individual
components “you had to tie together with wires.” He said the hospital
preferred to work with one vendor rather than multiple vendors. It
wanted to streamline – and make things the same wherever possible. For
example, it ordered the same cables for all sites.

Sadly there's no mention in the story about, you know, the really interesting stuff - like existing medical device networks, alarm notification and systems integration at the point of care. What applications is the network going to support? How far into the future did they look, and what applications or requirements did they anticipate? They've got coverage covered with Mobile Access, but what about capacity - how many wireless devices in any one location do they plan to support in 5 years? While not mentioned in the story, Emergin is reportedly part of the solution.

Frymire claims their payback on the new network ranges from less than a year to seven years.
The average return on the investment, he said, is estimated at five-six years. Calculating the return on something like this is sort of silly - you can't run a hospital these days without a network.

Geez, I just realized I wrote this whole post without mentioning the network vendor - like there's really any choice other than Cisco. I'm surprised the Cisco PR person didn't work "medical grade network" into the story somewhere.

Pictured right is a satellite view of the Children's Hospital Denver - it's a big place - from (now Google Earth), via the Andy Blog.