Case Studies

Barrow Neurological Associates

CenturyLink specialists implemented the MOE service at the company's six sites.

Scalable Bandwidth, Multiple Locations, Seamless

Challenge
Complaints from doctors and patients used to be a regular part of life for Steve Slack. That's because the Director of IT for Barrow Neurological was saddled with slow T-1 lines. So when doctors accessed patient images and records from a centralized office it took a long time. On top of that, Slack was being pressured to implement a bandwidth-hungry electronic medical records (EMR) solution. He tested an appliance solution to boost his T-1's performance, but it was still too slow. He considered VPN solutions, but those utilized slow T-1 lines as well. He needed a solution that delivered blazing speed, while being easy to implement and manage.

Solution
After weighing his options, Slack selected the CenturyLink Metro Optical Ethernet (MOE) solution. "I chose them because they could deliver scalable bandwidth up to a gig at each of our six locations. I liked being able to throttle down unnecessary bandwidth. And I loved that the implementation into my network was seamless, I didn't have to mess with routing or with IP addressing to other facilities."

CenturyLink specialists implemented the MOE service at the company's six sites. These include a facility dedicated to MRI and x-ray imaging, four clinic sites and one business office. The MRI and clinics centrally access servers at the company�s business office. These host MRI files, EMRs, e-mail and remote desktop applications to name a few.

Benefits and Results
"One of the biggest benefits I've seen from the CenturyLink solutions has been happy doctors," recalled Slack. "The MOE circuits deliver patient images and electronic records almost instantaneously- even though they may be 20 miles from our data center." Slack has also been impressed with how easy it is to use and manage the MOE circuits. And to date, "There hasn't been any downtime." Previously, Slack contemplated a distributed server model to counter the slow application response times his T-1-based network experienced. With the migration to high-speed Ethernet circuits, he's adopted a consolidated serve architecture with profound financial implications.

"It would easily have cost us over $100,000 in capital expenditures to implement servers at the locations we were looking at," explained Slack. "The MOE allowed us to centralize a smaller number of servers to meet our application needs. Not only did we save the initial capital expenditure costs the distributed architecture would have cost us, but we saved money that would have been spent on ongoing maintenance and upkeep."

Operationally, the MOE solution allows Slack to remotely manage his network with the bulk of his infrastructure located at a single data center. "We can run everything with two IT people right now. I estimate that the MOE saved us having to hire four FTEs to manage the distributed network that we were considering."

We couldn't have implemented our electronic medical records solution without the CenturyLink MOE. It scales to 1 gig of capacity, is reliable; and easy to implement and manage. The bottom line is that our patients receive faster care and our doctors are happier with the performance of the applications they use every day.
Steve Slack
Director of IT
Barrow Neurosurgical Associates

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