Customer Success Story
El Centro Regional Medical Center Eliminates Chronic Wi-Fi Pain with Juniper Mist
Unpredictable Wi-Fi was a constant frustration for the doctors and nurses at El Centro Regional Medical Center, which serves the healthcare needs of Southern California’s Imperial Valley. El Centro transformed the network user experience for doctors, nurses, and administrators with a Juniper network driven by Mist AI. Now, clinicians focus on patient care, not finding technology workarounds.
Superior network user experience everywhere in the hospital
Network operations with AI-driven insight and automation
Perception of IT as business partners
Wi-Fi in medical tents to triage Covid-19 patients
“When I started at El Centro, everyone complained about the Wi-Fi,” says Darryl Mark, information systems manager at El Centro Regional Medical Center. At the time, clinicians struggled to access patients’ medical records from their laptops and tablets. Applications were sluggish over the virtual desktop infrastructure. Medication carts would disconnect when nurses rounded a corner. Secure text messages weren’t delivered reliably within the hospital.
One of the most problematic Wi-Fi spots was the executive conference room, but unreliable Wi-Fi affected everyone from doctors and nurses to patients and their families.
Frustrations were justified, but as typically happens, the wireless network was saddled with more than its share of the blame. “The Wi-Fi was blamed for everything,” Mark says
Mark, along with Steve Perez, El Centro’s wireless engineer, tried everything in their bag of network tricks. But complaints persisted. Then Mark and Perez discovered the Juniper AI-Driven Enterprise.
El Centro’s IT team uses the AI-powered Juniper Mist Wired Assurance to automate provisioning and maintain service levels across the hospital’s new Juniper Networks EX4300 Ethernet Switches and EX2300 Ethernet Switches.
“Wired Assurance gives me a direct connection to my switches and Wi-Fi in a very unified fashion so that I can’t tell I’m managing two different infrastructures,” Perez says. “It’s not a bolt-on capability.” A cohesive network has laid the foundation for using technology to deliver better outcomes to its patients. A fast, reliable network enabled El Centro to reliably connect medical devices such as infusion pumps and remote patient monitoring.
The Juniper Mist network also allows El Centro to keep tighter control over high-value, mobile assets like wheelchairs and beds. Juniper Series of High-Performance Access Points combine Wi- Fi, BLE, and IoT, eliminating the need for separate BLE sensors and increasing the value of the wireless network. “We wanted a modular solution in which the wireless access points provide the location services,” Perez says. “With the direction of using more IoT devices, we want to go with open solutions.”
With Mist AI, El Centro’s network user experience is predictable, reliable, and measurable with unprecedented visibility into the user experience. Wi-Fi is optimized in real time across the hospital based on changing conditions. Time-consuming manual tasks are replaced with AI-driven automation and self-healing actions. “Juniper networking with Mist AI is a night-and-day difference from other wireless LANs,” Perez says. “The level of insight that Mist AI provides is what every Wi-Fi engineer has wanted all this time. “There’s so much work and manual labor that goes into troubleshooting Wi-Fi and capturing data, and Mist AI does it automatically.”
Juniper Mist Wi-Fi Assurance automates wireless operations and replaces time-consuming manual troubleshooting, providing predictable, reliable, and measurable Wi-Fi with unique visibility into user service levels. IT can set up and track critical servicelevel expectations (SLEs). Anomaly detection automatically triggers packet capture for event correlation.
“Dynamic packet capture sold me on Mist AI,” Perez says. “At the end of the day, reporting is one thing, but is there data to back it up? When you have a packet capture, all your doubts go out the window. As a wireless engineer, dynamic packet capture with Mist AI was the cherry on top.”
Having a Juniper Mist network has had a personal impact, too. “I used to go to bed worrying about the Wi-Fi,” Mark says. “Now, I still have things to worry about, but Wi-Fi isn’t one of them.” Perez has deep experience with different wireless LAN solutions and is confident that Juniper Mist is his next best step in professional development. “With Mist AI, I feel like I’m working on the edge of Wi-Fi, and that looks amazing on my resume,” Perez says. “On a personal level, I’m gaining value from learning Juniper Mist.”
Published November 2020