From ER physicians and clinicians at the bedside to facilities management, healthcare providers and the IT teams that support them are being asked to do the impossible. Our Black Box team is working on-site, shoulder-to-shoulder, to increase capacity, expand coverage, and ensure business continuity for our all of our customers.
In preparation for COVID-19 cases, a major healthcare system with three hospitals and 400 plus clinics was setting up triage tents in the parking lots of its hospitals. The Director of Telecommunications called Black Box and placed an expedited order of 2,000 mobile communications systems, including licenses, for its workers at the three hospitals. They requested that the materials be shipped immediately. The Black Box team powered through the request, and all the communications sets arrived at the three hospitals two business days after the request came in.
A major metropolitan university hospital greatly accelerated its planned opening of a newly constructed 1.5-million-square-foot hospital building. Although the formal opening of the facility was not expected for another 12 months, the hospital’s construction and project staff are working 24 hours a day to complete the patient tower ahead of schedule. To ensure safety against the COVID-19 outbreak, all workers are screened by clinical staff and have their temperature taken every day.
The hospital system outlined a plan to bring 240 new patient beds in 120 patient rooms on five floors into immediate operation in support of the anticipated demand for healthcare services during the pandemic. The new rooms will be used for low-risk patients to allow for more intensive treatment space for high-risk coronavirus patients in other buildings.
To accomplish this, the hospital system notified all vendors involved in the building project that it had to be completed immediately. Black Box is providing critical cellular voice and data communications originally planned to be deployed over several months. Instead, Black Box had 12 days to deliver cellular services throughout two emergency department floors and an additional seven days to extend coverage to three patient floors.
The Black Box team completed the delivery of cellular services in the emergency department areas a full two days ahead of schedule. The team then turned their attention to the patient floors and delivered service there before the due date, only two days later.
This project involved much more than the installation team. It involved close cooperation and collaboration across all Black Box teams (engineering, project management, procurement, sales, and more) as well as with the carriers and equipment vendors
A national elder-care home in Tennessee experienced a communications crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic. The facility’s aging phone system completely stopped working and left clinicians, administration, and patients with no service. This was a critical communication failure, especially as families could not contact their loved ones by phone. Black Box received the call for help on a Thursday. By Saturday, the facility had a modern communications system installed and by Sunday 100 percent of the phones were operational.
A large pharmaceutical company had been working round the clock to produce COVID-19 tests. The company produced two million tests in just three weeks. But as the pandemic worsened and spread, the company had to enable remote working for one hundred of its engineers. They called Black Box. We were able to implement a home-agent solution and reprogram their UC from a premise-based model to a remote model.
The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging healthcare workers in unimaginable ways. One hospital system needed a way to track both equipment and staff, particularly in new COVID-19 100 percent isolation units. Black Box stepped in and provided a new RTLS. The system is designed to reduce the hoarding of critical equipment assuring infection control and supporting excessively high utilization numbers. In addition, the system supports clinician handheld devices being used in triage areas and hospitals.
Like its counterparts around the country, one midwestern health system was setting up outdoor triage tents to test and assess patients in a safe area. The hospital called Black Box for our expertise in cabling, but they had one request: the project had to be done in eight hours. Black Box quickly installed the heavy-duty, outdoor cable in just one day and provided emergency support for move, add, and change requests.
One major healthcare system with four hospitals and multiple clinics is in an area hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The state and the Centers for Disease Control asked the system to turn one of its former hospitals, utilized as an outpatient clinic, back into a hospital to accommodate 102 COVID-19 patients. Black Box helped by installing two UG 50s to the existing NEC SV9500 IP system to support phones in the patient rooms and nurse/admin stations.
In preparation for a surge in COVID-19 cases, a major metropolitan university/teaching hospital system needed to update its contact center. One of our full-time, on-site technicians managed to squeeze days of work into hours to accommodate the request. Six other on-site Black Box techs set up a command center and phones in the outside triage areas. In addition, another tech spent a weekend on the phone helping hospital staff enable remote working and remote call forwarding.
A major hospital system and current Black Box client called on us to help them set up multiple triage tents at several locations. The tents required running armored cable, setting up wireless access points, adding cameras, and more. The problem was the hospital needed the project to be done in one day instead of the initially requested three days. Black Box accomplished what was thought undo-able and now has techs stationed on-site as an extension of the hospital IT staff.
Black Box recently finished outfitting a new healthcare help desk with a Cisco contact center. The center was not open long when COVID-19 hit, and all the agents were sent home. The company called us, and we made remote access happen with the right devices, software, and licenses, etc. In addition, we helped the company increase their network bandwidth to accommodate the remote workers. What started as a 100-agent center supporting nationally known healthcare systems is now a 250-agent center handling emergency COVID-19 calls.
Clinicians at one major metropolitan hospital system are on the front lines and report to work every day. But the healthcare system wanted to protect administrative staff not involved in patient care. The system contacted Black Box and within a few days we procured and implemented 130 Multiline Client Mobile licenses to enable remote working.
Black Box helped one southern hospital enable communications in outdoor triage tents and specially designated drive-through areas in parking garages. We installed Wi-Fi so the clinicians could assess patients with handheld devices. They also used the Wi-Fi to set up web meetings with doctors using computer-mounted cameras.
With the surge of cases in the pandemic, one university hospital, like others across the country, created new areas specifically to treat COVID-19 patients. Black Box helped enable wireless communications for doctors and nurses with a very expeditious expansion of the hospital’s existing DAS as well as handling carrier engagement.