C.A. Hospital Improves Wireless Anatomy

By Jessica Rivchin — January 14, 2007

Who: The IT staff of the Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC).

Challenge: The Children's Hospital (and a second hospital in nearby Mission Viejo, Calif.) employs nearly 500 physicians and staff and so needed a comprehensive and extensive wireless infrastructure and application deployment that could increase staff efficiency and the overall quality of patient care. The solution had to include the abilities to send and receive wireless prescriptions and allow campus-wide access to patient information by CHOC staff. In addition, the new network needed to be reliable, cost-effective and secure.

Solution: After reviewing several potential solutions, CHOC selected Network Chemistry's RFprotect Distributed wireless intrusion detection and prevention system, as well as Cisco's access points (APs) and WLAN management software (WLSE). The Cisco components provided a solution for roaming, authentication and encryption for the WLAN. Network Chemistry's solution provides vulnerability assessment, rogue and intrusion detection, real-time traffic analysis and more.

The initial deployment included 802.11b APs servicing 200 to 300 users simultaneously, while Network Chemistry's sensors monitored wireless traffic across the CHOC campus. These sensors detect and prevent a variety of wireless threats, capture detailed user traffic and log performance-related statistics, keeping CHOC IT staff fully informed for ongoing operational activities including troubleshooting and performance planning.

Results: "We were picking up wireless traffic immediately," said CHOC VP and CIO Mark Headland. "Network Chemistry's solution doesn't just tell me something happened; it provides me with information about the type of inconsistency and recommended countermeasures."

Since the rollout, the hospital has also been able to build a secure wireless perimeter, as well as a real-time engine that provides useful information to IT staff. "The usage monitoring capabilities of RFprotect Distributed are particularly helpful because they've enabled us to track the acceptance of the wireless applications in our user community," said Headland. "Some doctors were slow to alter their ways, but since the benefits of wireless networking have been demonstrated, that is rapidly changing."

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