Maimonides Medical Center Takes First Step in Pioneering Telemedicine Initiative With Verizon Business

NEW YORK - Maimonides Medical Center is one step closer to realizing the future promise of telemedicine.

Maimonides turned to Verizon Business to design and deploy a high-capacity, resilient optical network connecting the medical center's main campus buildings and 24 remote locations throughout Brooklyn.  The new network, which Maimonides began to transition to in March, enables the secure and rapid transmission of electronic medical records, providing physicians at Maimonides and affiliated institutions with complete patient medical histories, including doctors' orders, prescriptions, lab results and radiology films. 

By eliminating the cumbersome process of transferring paper records between physicians and among various health care facilities, Maimonides hopes to reduce medical errors, eliminate duplicative testing and deliver improved patient care at a lower cost - providing critical, comprehensive clinical information directly at the point of care.

"Immediate access to electronic patient records can help enhance the speed and efficiency of health care as we know it today," said Walter Fahey, chief information officer at Maimonides.  "Working with Verizon Business, we're on the road to making traditional clipboards and paper records obsolete.  The new network supports our current requirements and provides a secure and scalable platform for our future initiatives."

The new Maimonides network will also serve as the foundation for the Brooklyn Health Information Exchange (BHIE), a regional health care network scheduled for launch in 2008.  Designed to meet the federal call to action to transform the delivery of health care through regional collaboration, the BHIE will aid the development of electronic medical records and promote interconnectedness among Brooklyn-based clinicians.  The BHIE will spur the adoption of a common health care information technology supported by shared policies, and privacy and security standards designed to create a sustainable business model. 

The BHIE, composed of a consortium of 10 Brooklyn-based health care organizations representing the full continuum of medical delivery, will enable the sharing of complete patient clinical information via an electronic medical record transferred between health care organizations over the network infrastructure already in place at Maimonides.  To support the creation of the BHIE, Maimonides received a $4 million grant from the state of New York to create the required secure electronic infrastructure for sharing clinical information among multiple health care organizations, whether the patient is being treated in an affiliated emergency room, inpatient unit, doctor's office or skilled nursing facility.

"Verizon Business is helping Maimonides and other health care providers transform the way they do business to provide better care for patients," said Steve Young, senior vice president of corporate markets for Verizon Business.  "Health care is a critical issue for our society, and the deployment of effective information technology platforms holds the promise of delivering improved patient care more efficiently and at a lower cost."

For Maimonides, Verizon Business deployed Dedicated Wavelength Ring Service over new fiber, providing redundant high-speed links between core locations housing administrative and computer operations, as well as the Maimonides data center.  Using dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM), a layer-one transport technology that carries each data protocol traffic stream on its own separate light wavelength, the network supports all existing applications including those that enable the transfer of radiology images to doctors in mere seconds.  Connectivity within the Maimonides data center and its computer operations server farm uses Verizon Business' resilient, high-speed 10 gigabit per second (Gbps) Ethernet LAN service. 

Maimonides Medical Center is a not-for-profit institution and is among the largest independent teaching hospitals in the country.  An academic affiliate of both The Brooklyn Clinical Center of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn, Maimonides trains more than 450 residents and medical students each year.  As a leading academic medical center, Maimonides contributes to the progress of medicine through broad-based research programs.

Verizon Business delivers advanced communications and information technology (IT) services to large-business and government customers around the world, helping health care providers transform service delivery by removing the traditional boundaries associated with manual records.  Verizon Business offers a full complement of IT infrastructure services to help enable health care providers to improve health care, enhance staff productivity, and better manage costs.  These offerings include networking, security, hosting, storage and end-user access solutions, as well as professional consulting services.

About Maimonides
Maimonides Medical Center is a thriving non-profit, non-sectarian hospital that is the pre-eminent treatment facility and academic medical center in Brooklyn – and among the best in the country. Serving people of all faiths and backgrounds from the incredibly diverse population of Brooklyn, the Medical Center has 705 beds, a staff of renowned physicians and more than 70 primary care and sub-specialty programs. In 2006, the Medical Center serviced more than 80,000 emergency room visits, received more than 210,000 ambulatory care visits, and delivered over 6,700 babies – more than any other hospital in the state of New York.

About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a leading provider of advanced communications and information technology (IT) solutions to large business and government customers worldwide.  Combining unsurpassed global network reach with advanced technology and professional service capabilities, Verizon Business delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  For more information, visit www.verizonbusiness.com.