Hidden from what the eye can see while passing through the halls of the hospitals are miles of wires and countless technological tools that support our high-quality and advanced infrastructure and patient care.
This equipment is like each building’s central nervous system, housed in numerous telecommunication rooms, known as “TR rooms.” They are required for patient monitoring, operations, entertainment and any other high-tech functions of the hospital.
The newer UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital and UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital and the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital already have updated TR rooms and capacity for expansion. Now it’s time to upgrade the TR rooms in UF Health Shands Hospital. In the original hospital, several TR rooms also house storage for our nursing units. This shared space has created problems.
“Nursing has lost a lot of valuable space that they need,” said Stephanie Smith, UF Health IT Services technical services director. “In order for us to grow and support more services, we take more and more space from them in the rooms as we put more switches and cabling in.”
Motivated to resolve this issue, IT Services and Facilities staff are working together on a strategic, five-and-a-half-year plan to build a chase, or an enclosed metal framework, on the exterior of the UF Health Shands Hospital building to house the wiring. Site preparation began in April and construction should begin in late June.
“To me, what’s kind of fun is the collaborative effort of IT and Facilities. We’re working together to come up with a unique solution that creates space for nursing by building this new chase on the outside, which allows us to free up space that is currently being used by IT,” said Brad Pollitt, A.I.A., UF Health Shands Facilities vice president.
The benefits of this solution include an increase in the security and stability of the information transmitted by this technology.
“The project will connect every single TR on every floor to our two main routers. That way, if we lose one source, the system stays live,” Smith said. “This is what we have in the heart and neuro hospitals as well as at the cancer hospital.”
Du Meyer, UF Health Shands Facilities Design and Construction Services director, added, “This will enable our operations and our nursing teams to buy the latest equipment. We had to postpone this because of the extra cost and not having the capacity.”
This initiative will support increased patient satisfaction, education, technical personalization and safety.