Whether you work at a pediatric office, urgent care, hospital, nursing home, addiction treatment center, or an ambulatory care center, there’s no doubt that connectivity is important. Additionally, the rising demand of telehealth and telemedicine, that is, remote healthcare, requires health facilities to have an excellent connectivity infrastructure. There are a few different ways you could improve connectivity in a healthcare facility such as updating your Ethernet cables and using a wired network as often as possible.
Updating cables and going wired sounds easy enough, but you also need to ensure your connection and cables are reliable and organized respectively. The importance of a reliable network speaks for itself, but why is organization important? Well, if your network were to go down, you (or your IT team) should be able to quickly locate the problem. A mess of cables isn’t going to help you find the problem, if anything you might snag a cable and cause more issues trying to find the problem. So, what’s the solution? Structured cabling. If you’d like to learn the importance of structured cabling in healthcare, our experts have you covered in our guide below.
First, what is structured cabling?
Before we can discuss why structured cabling is so important, you should have a general understanding of what structured cabling is. In simple terms, structured cabling is a building’s connectivity infrastructure that connects via cables from a designated telecommunications room or closet. The necessary components for a structured cabling system include horizontal cabling, backbone cabling, entrance facilities, and finally the work area.
When most people ask what structured cabling looks like, the best way to describe it is organized and intentional. Every cable used is there for a reason, so while there are a lot of cables, they all serve a purpose.
Reliability and organization
In the healthcare industry, you depend on reliable equipment to provide state of the art care for your patients––your facility’s connectivity is no different. Structured cabling will provide your building and staff a reliable connection throughout daily operations. Administrative workers especially benefit from structured cabling because most care facilities use databases to store patient information as opposed to file cabinets. Moreover, structured cabling provides improved bandwidth which allows workers to access data throughout the building from any device on the local area network and beyond.
Because structured cabling follows the TIA/EIA standards, you can count on consistency, reliability, and organization throughout the facility. Organization is more important than a lot of people think when it comes to networks. A messy IT closet and server room can result in a few issues for your facility. When something goes wrong with your network, you’ll want your IT team to fix it as soon as possible. However, an unorderly network system can result in extended downtime because it’s harder to locate the cable, switch, patch panel, or router that caused the problem. If any industry can’t afford network downtime, it’s healthcare, so you should consider structured cabling for the sheer reliability and organization benefits.
Structured cabling supports facility growth
As care centers attract more patients, they often face the decision to turn away new patients or expand their facility. Structured cabling makes the decision easy for you because it’s adaptable. Adding new cables, switches, or work areas to a structured cabling setup is simple for any IT professional. If your facility doesn’t have its own IT team, then we’d suggest hiring an IT service to handle installation or expansion for your structured cabling hardware. Otherwise there’s a lot of room for error for anyone without experience in setting up networks and following standards.
Better care capability
We previously eluded to some of the changes in the healthcare industry, most notably telemedicine and telehealth. Structured cabling supports both telemedicine, telehealth, but also onsite care. By using high-quality Cat5e or higher network cables, you’ll have a much more reliable connection with faster transmission speeds. Along with better speed, structured cabling will also provide a better bandwidth which helps everyone in the facility.
Given that telemedicine and telehealth are both remote care options for patients who are unable to get to your healthcare facility, you need an excellent connection to provide high-quality service. Moreover, structured cabling helps doctors, nurses, and administrative workers provide excellent care onsite because they can access their databases throughout the facility. Additionally, some facilities’ security depends on a reliable network. Structured cabling can support information security, fire safety, closed-circuit television networks, and patient monitoring. In other words, your facility, staff––and most importantly, your patients––can’t afford excessive downtime from an unreliable cabling structure.
It helps you meet industry standards
There are a number of telecommunication standards for the healthcare industry, and one of the most important is the ANSI/TIA-1179-A. While there are several components of the ANSI/TIA-1179-A standard including topologies, cable performance requirements, and security, there are also details that guide you through the structured cabling requirements. By keeping your facility up to industry standards, you can rest assured that your facility’s infrastructure can support the latest technological advancements.
At the heart of every healthcare facility is the desire to improve the lives of their patients, and structured cabling supports you in just that. While the importance of structured cabling in healthcare helps administrative workers locate files and patient information, there’s a much more serious reason it’s important. As we mentioned before, many facilities (especially hospitals) utilize patient monitoring systems that connect to your network. A failure of your network could lead to a medical emergency for your patients, so to avoid downtime you should always have structured cabling system installed professionally.
The quality of your cables and structured cabling hardware is equally as important as professional installation and CableWholesale can supply top-quality hardware and cables for your system. Whether you need switches, panels, Cat5e plenum cables, or bulk Cat6a Ethernet cables, we’ve got you covered. Our team is made up of industry experts with extensive experience which allows us to not only supply excellent products, but top-quality customer support too. We understand how important connectivity is in our digital world, that’s why we offer free technical assistance to all our customers and back our cables with a lifetime warranty. Why do we offer a lifetime warranty? Because we know things can go wrong, and we want to help our customers get back online as soon as possible. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our team; otherwise check out all our inventory today!