Medical Construction & Design

JUL-AUG 2015

Medical Construction & Design (MCD) is the industry's leading source for news and information and reaches all disciplines involved in the healthcare construction and design process.

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Products applications, case studies & best practices When of cials at University Health System in San Antonio, Texas began planning to build Sky Tower, a 1-million-square-foot hospital that would more than double the number of patient rooms, they were determined to create an environment that would help reduce patient stress by incorporating some of the comforts of home. As a result, the tower, which opened in April 2014, features green spaces, art and comfortable private patient rooms where a patient can watch high-defi nition TV with his or her family. UHS knew from the beginning that extending the hospital's legacy TV distribution system into the new tower was not a viable option. "It's an older coaxial system. To add to it, you tap in wherever you can and then amplify and distribute to the TVs on that fl oor. It is a tap-and-go approach," said Chris Arellano, of Walker Engineering, Inc., which provided network installation services for the tower, "and any addition or removal of a TV on the old system requires system rebalancing; maintenance is disruptive and expensive." The DataCom Design Group, LLC was selected to work with the architects and develop the specifi cations for the project, so it could be put out for bid. Early in the planning process, Andrew Schmucker, a DataCom senior designer, recommended that the hospital use a video distribution system from Z-Band, Inc. Schmucker was familiar with Z-Band technolog y from prior installations and held a meeting to demonstrate Z-Band's active signal conditioning capability. The planning team quickly realized the long- term maintenance savings and enhanced patient viewing experiences. The Z-Band system uses the same twisted-pair cable used for a patient engagement portal; a coaxial system has to run coax and twisted-pair cable side-by-side to every patient room. Patients can use the portal to watch videos about their physical condition and treatment or request services such as housekeeping. Z-Band and the patient portal each use dif erent pins on the same twisted-pair cable. The use of twisted-pair cable gives a hospital more fl exibility over how it uses its fl oor space in the future. "CAT 6A (twisted-pair) cable can be used for security cameras, wireless access points and network connections as opposed to being limited to TV distribution," said Arellano. UHS found Z-Band to be the best fi t for both the present and the future. "When a building must last for decades, you want as much future-proofi ng as possible," Arellano said. Compatibility with Patient Engagement Technology When the Walker Engineering team brought the patient engagement system online, Arellano momentarily panicked when he saw that the portal's USB tuner stick created interference with the Z-Band video distribution system. His nerves were quickly put at ease with a fi ve-minute call to Henry Collins, Z-Band's senior engineer. "Honestly, Collins told me how to correct the situation in less than a minute, but I spent four more minutes asking questions because I couldn't believe it could be that easy," Arellano said. "The Z-Band system is 95 percent plug-and- play," Collins said. "But easily accessed options are available to customize an installation when needed." The patient rooms were not the only locations where video was required. High-defi nition TV was also made available to the 35 operating rooms, the lobby area and at the guard gate of the parking garage. Because of the success at Sky Tower, UHS has selected the Z-Band system as its standard for new construction and renovations that involve TV distribution. As a result of the standard, the system has also been installed at a new health center at another campus. For more information, visit Making patients feel at ease with high-defi nition TV Comforts of Home TV DISTRIBUTION MCDM AG.COM | J U LY/AUGUST 2015 | Medical Construction & Design 61

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