Extending the Life of Network Infrastructure at Třinec Hospital

Cammy Perry Content Marketing Specialist Published 3 Mar 2022

The healthcare industry has always been turbulent with new patients constantly coming through the doors of different healthcare facilities every day with different needs and expectations on top of staffing shortages and now a global pandemic, hospitals, and clinics around the world are struggling to keep up. Třinec Hospital in the Czech Republic was no exception to this and was in serious need of a digital makeover that would keep operations running smoothly.

Třinec Hospital has around 800 employees, 370 beds, and is a critical health facility for over 35,000 citizens in the surrounding area, so with the global pandemic and their outdated systems they were afraid they wouldn’t be able to meet the new level of demand from their patients. Their IT department was managing multiple subscriptions across several locations and over 1,000 devices ranging from something as small as a guest’s smartphone to as large and critical as an MRI machine.

Třinec was facing serious IT concerns amidst the pandemic. They were utilizing a multi-vendor network which helped in many ways but also proved to the head of the ICT at Třinec that they needed a better way to control their network infrastructure. Some of their infrastructures had no management system at all while others were only specific to certain equipment. Třinec needed a centralized network management tool that would give them better visibility of all of the connected devices and insight into their network while leveraging their existing hardware.

Třinec turned to Extreme Networks to solve their tech crisis since they have already had a good experience with some of the Extreme’s Summit switches in their facilities that have been there for close to 20 years and based on their experience with Extreme so far, they knew they could trust them to help modernize their network management. Extreme brought in their award-winning ExtremeCloud IQ Site Engine that would help Třinec manage all devices whether they were Extreme’s products, a competitor’s device, or even if they aren’t cloud-native.

But what really sold the small IT team at Třinec? The head of the ICT department, Tomáš Walach explained that “The solution not only was able to provide us task automation, access control, and granular visibility with real-time analytics, it also combined it with efficient device management across vendors for a complete picture of our network, making it a perfect choice for a dense and diverse environment like ours” and listed the following reasons:

  • The ability to detect wrong configuration of local software agents – instead of downloading updates from a local secured server, it‘s downloaded from the public Internet.
  • Visual help is provided by maps for detecting missing VLAN configurations in the network nodes.
  • Better planning of configuration backups – utilized in less-exposed time outside of the critical application peak use thanks to the comprehensive application analytics.
  • Visibility and control over the multi-vendor environment – the IT Team has great visibility into what is actually being connected into the network and the ability to isolate any vulnerabilities, insecure devices, etc. inside the network. The visibility extends even into the wireless network.
  • The ability to search for any device very easily, even after they’ve been moved from one place to another, online and in real-time. With a very precise inventory, Třinec Hospital’s IT team is able to check if there are any unwanted devices in the network. That’s very important in the age of medical IoT devices and in the light of numerous attacks on hospitals in the Czech Republic in recent years.
  • Unified security of the wired and wireless networks with in-depth visibility and control over users, devices, and applications. The IT team can locate, authenticate and apply targeted policies to users and devices as they can easily onboard to the network for secure BYOD, guest access, and IoT, all through a single integrated user interface.
  • Blocking the malicious communication with port policy enforcement (e.g. DHCP traffic) when connecting medical devices. The solution delivers granular policy controls that enable the IT team to comply with policies and compliance obligations in a heterogeneous endpoint environment.

“We are very happy that we were able to approach Třinec Hospital’s needs with a multi-vendor solution, leveraging the current hardware while facilitating future investments. It goes to show that instead of an immediate ‘rip and replace’, health facilities can cost-effectively extend the life of their existing network infrastructure – an extremely helpful ability in these difficult, pandemic times”, Michal Zlesak, Sales Director Central & South Eastern Europe at Extreme Networks, concludes.

All of these upgrades and Třinec’s digital transformation aren’t over yet! They are looking into future upgrades such as Fabric switches for more network simplification, automated changes and network segmentation options, and new Wi-Fi 6 access points.

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