Disney Cancer Center enhances patient care and clinical operations

April 7, 2010

MILWAUKEE – (April 6, 2010) – In pursuit of an innovative clinical care experience, the new Roy and Patricia Disney Cancer Center in San Fernando Valley, Calif., features integrated information technologies (IT) designed to enhance the patient experience and ensure efficient facility operations. Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, which operates the new cancer treatment facility, selected Johnson Controls to design, install, and implement the Technology Contracting® model to create a single converged network that supports clinical, business and building systems – with the goal of improving patient care and satisfaction while easing day-to-day operations for administrators and clinicians.

Opened in February 2010, the Disney Cancer Center provides diagnosis, treatment, professional counseling, support groups and educational resources from one 55,000-square-foot location. Its holistic design is intended to create a peaceful sanctuary for cancer patients, incorporating art, therapeutic music and soothing colors, supported by innovative planning and the design of the enabling IT and building infrastructure.

“We will have the first facility offering a comprehensive range of cancer therapies in a single location in the San Fernando Valley,” said Robert Hacker, regional director, facilities and construction services, Providence Health & Services California. “It was critical we coordinate comfort controls, communication systems and clinical systems to maximize efficiency and deliver the best possible patient experience.”

Clinical systems converge on a single IT network, improving workflow and patient wayfinding

From the initial planning process to implementation, the IT infrastructure at the Disney Cancer Center was designed to work with the business and building systems, and clinical operations. Clinical systems, including radiology and telemetry, and a nurse call system operate on the network. 

“Our doctors, nurses, administrators and engineers are connected with the information that they need at any time which ensures efficient operations at all levels,“ said Raymond Lowe, information services director, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, regional director, IS operation. “Nurses and doctors can monitor patient conditions. It’s the kind of operation that our oncology patients and their families deserve. 

The design process considered technologies to increase patient satisfaction by reducing wait times and making it easier for patients to locate the appropriate treatment area. For example, through the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies, a clinician is paged to the appointed clinical treatment location when a patient arrives. When the patient enters a treatment room, the lighting, music and temperature adjust to their preferences in order to personalize the experience and reduce stress 

Technology contracting supports clinical systems, business and building applications

The Technology Contracting® model helped the center assess its technology needs and design one IP backbone—instead of multiple networks—that can be used by all the building automation, security, clinical and administrative systems to help reduce infrastructure costs 

“Creating an innovative patient experience can be accomplished by a well-designed IT infrastructure and intelligent data sharing between technology systems,” said James Dagley, vice president strategy, Johnson Controls. “Technologies that are selected and installed must support the hospital’s clinical and business objectives. Only then can you create a smarter, more productive healthcare environment.”

In addition, Technology Contracting integrates systems such as building management, unified voice, and data network; heating and air conditioning; lighting; and fire and security systems to provide authorized staff with access to real-time monitoring and controls data so they can make adjustments accordingly. 

“The freedom of future-ready IT infrastructure is very powerful. With this infrastructure, we will always have the flexibility to add or modify best-in-class clinical, business and building applications, knowing that our technology partner will be able to integrate them into the system,” said Lowe. “Ongoing network maintenance is reduced through efficient network design.”

Johnson Controls serves as the single point of responsibility for the design and installation of the converged network, technology recommendations, specifications and procurement, and systems integrations, eventually transitioning the operations and management to the Disney Cancer Center’s staff.


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