Bowen Center Revamps Network Infrastructure to Enable Next-Generation Patient Care

Published 7 May 2019

With Extreme Networks, Community Mental Health Center Expands Telemedicine Capabilities and Improves IT Satisfaction Scores by More Than 20 Points

SAN JOSE, Calif., May 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — For every hour spent with patients, physicians spend two hours with electronic medical record systems and other computer-based work, putting a major strain on their ability to provide care, according to a recent paper by the Harvard Global Health Institute. When slow network performance turned that two hours into four or more for clinicians at Bowen Center, the organization selected Extreme Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) to overhaul its network infrastructure, simplify network management and lay the foundation for unified collaboration and telemedicine—ultimately delivering a better experience for medical staff and enhanced care for patients.

Extreme Networks Logo (PRNewsFoto/Extreme Networks) (PRNewsFoto/Extreme Networks) (PRNewsfoto/Extreme Networks, Inc.)

Bowen Center is a leading provider of mental health care in northern Indiana, servicing 21 counties with nearly 1,300 staff. Clinicians across the Bowen network were struggling with several challenges, including slow interaction times on electronic medical record (EMR) systems, failing wireless connectivity and the inability to deliver telemedicine. At its worst, unplanned outages to the EMR system were happening daily due to both network and data center problems, and staff was unable to function at core locations. This put a major burden on clinicians, who were forced to work longer hours than necessary while they dealt with tasks as simple as uploading documents.

With many practitioners on the brink, Bowen’s IT team moved quickly to remove consumer-grade equipment from each location and replace it with ExtremeMobility™ and ExtremeSwitching™ products from Extreme’s Smart OmniEdge™ solution, meeting the immediate on-site needs for scalable bandwidth and functioning EMR systems. As new deployments went live at each site, Bowen took advantage of Extreme Management Center™ to take a deeper look at local issues and solve them before they became problems for staff. By automating simple tasks through good network management, Bowen transformed its network from a chokepoint of productivity to an intelligent utility that now drives better performance and forward-looking initiatives.

Key Benefits

  • Enhanced care through telemedicine: A recent report from Forrester found that 74 percent of healthcare customers have received or are interested in remote healthcare. When treating mental health remotely, the stakes are that much higher – poor video quality or lag in a session is unacceptable for a patient dealing with emotional trauma or a developmental disorder. Since deploying Extreme, Bowen has increased its usage of telemedicine, giving its patients access to expertise from as far away as California and providing an experience that equals in-person care.
  • Reestablished trust in IT: Andrew Grimm, Vice President of Information Technology at Bowen Center, led the efforts to adopt Extreme from the time he was hired. At the same time, he also began tracking IT satisfaction. In both satisfaction surveys and through in-person interviews, he found that trust in IT was at a low due to repeated bad experiences. Since moving over to Extreme and addressing Bowen’s networking challenges, Grimm reports that IT satisfaction scores are now in the mid-90s out of 100, reflecting a more than 20-point increase.
  • Simplified management across locations: Through Extreme’s network management tools, Bowen’s IT teams can now identify where problems are coming from before they impact staff. For example, during the initial rollout, Bowen realized that a misconfigured firewall was compounding existing network performance issues. The team used Extreme’s network management tools to separate internal and external traffic, and then moved internal traffic onto an on-site switch to ensure system uptime, resolving the problem.
  • More time for practitioners to practice: Clinicians at the Bowen Center were increasingly frustrated by their inability to update documentation, access records and collaborate over video. Since upgrading each location with Extreme’s wired and wireless network solutions, performance issues no longer impact clinicians’ ability to care for patients, and teams are now able to collaborate over video through unified communications tools.

Executive Perspectives 
Andrew Grimm, Vice President of Information Technology, Bowen Center 
“At an organization like Bowen, the role of IT is to provide network stability so our staff can deliver the best possible patient care. Extreme has put us in the position where our clinicians believe us when we say we care about making them as effective and efficient as possible. The reliability of Extreme’s solutions has removed many of the challenges that were plaguing our staff and their ability to do their job. Further, the high level of performance those solutions deliver is allowing us to expand into new areas like telehealth, so we can continue to elevate the patient experience.”

Bob Zemke, Director, Healthcare Solutions, Extreme Networks, Inc.
“Healthcare providers do invaluable work every day, which is why it is sad to hear that many still struggle with performance issues that are solvable. Through our partnership with Bowen Center, we can relieve that tension on medical staff, speeding up slow-moving administrative work that is adding hours onto their day, while providing the groundwork for new innovations. Our focus is to give healthcare providers a smart, agile network that can serve as the foundation for excellent, innovative patient experiences that challenge the status quo – whether that’s a simple task like ensuring wireless connectivity or a more complex initiative like telemedicine or IoT deployments, our goal is to be the engine that drives transformation.”

Extreme Connect 
The Future of Healthcare will be on display in full-force at the Extreme Connect User Conference, May 13-16, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. For more details and to register, click here.

Additional Resources

About Extreme Networks 
Extreme Networks, Inc. (EXTR) delivers software-driven solutions from the enterprise edge to the cloud that are agile, adaptive, and secure to enable digital transformation. Our 100% in-sourced services and support are number one in the industry. Even with 30,000 customers globally, including half of the Fortune 50 and some of the world’s leading names in business, hospitality, retail, transportation and logistics, education, government, healthcare and manufacturing, we remain nimble and responsive to ensure customer and partner success. We call this Customer-Driven Networking™. Founded in 1996, Extreme is headquartered in San Jose, California. For more information, visit Extreme’s website or call 1-888-257-3000.

Extreme Networks and the Extreme Networks logo are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Extreme Networks, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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SOURCE Extreme Networks, Inc.

Christi Nicolacopoulos,603-952-5005, PR@extremenetworks.com