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During an emergency, hospital staff, public officials, and first responders must rely on critical communications to do their jobs quickly and effectively. No organization is more acutely aware of that than the Hospital Association of Southern California (HASC), a not-for-profit regional trade association of hospitals and health systems.
Connecting more than 300 hospitals, emergency response organizations, and public health officials throughout 13 California counties, HASC’s ReddiNet® network needed to carry time-sensitive data and communications for both daily operations and crisis situations. But because it was made up of mountaintop-based microwave radios, ReddiNet was sometimes slow and vulnerable to adverse weather, road, and disaster conditions.
Until now, that is. Today, ReddiNet is bringing fast and reliable emergency preparedness communications to hospitals and first responders in California, thanks in part to a new high-speed satellite broadband network from Hughes.
Hughes is upgrading HASC’s ReddiNet emergency medical communications systems at hundreds of sites with a private managed network operating over its award-winning SPACEWAY® 3 satellite system. SPACEWAY 3 is the world’s first commercial satellite with onboard switching and routing, enabling full-mesh, site-to-site broadband connectivity completely independent of terrestrial network infrastructure. The addition of the Hughes satellite network provides essential reliability for everything from tracking a pandemic flu outbreak and managing mass casualty events, to providing secure messaging and monitoring hospital bed availability.
With its new solution, HASC now has significantly greater bandwidth to exchange higher volumes of critical data among a wider network of emergency responders, including the capability to send high-resolution graphics such as diagnostic images and maps. HASC technical staff can also develop more sophisticated applications to run on the new network.
According to Cathy Winans, HASC senior vice president of medical communication systems, the satellite network gives HASC an important competitive advantage over other commercial emergency preparedness vendors—with multiple, varied communication channels supporting the entire system.
“We will have the most extensive network of hospitals in the country utilizing satellite technology as part of a redundant emergency communications system,” Winans said. “And because the network is fully managed by Hughes, my staff can now focus their efforts on enhancing and developing new applications instead of diverting their efforts to terrestrial network problems. Satellite broadband has really come of age for our needs, offering increased reliability, security, and affordability.”
“Reliable communications are critical to the daily operation, emergency preparedness, and disaster response of any healthcare delivery system,” said Peter Pardee, vice president of business development and healthcare solutions for Hughes. “Hughes is pleased to be working with HASC to upgrade ReddiNet’s communication network with the SPACEWAY 3 platform and to provide mission-critical managed broadband services.”
With its new high-speed satellite broadband network, HASC is taking huge strides to ensure that hospital staff, public officials, and first responders in Southern California have the critical communications they need to respond quickly to emergencies and save lives.