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Ontario senior living facility boosts Wi-Fi network with Aruba

Ontario senior living facility boosts Wi-Fi network with Aruba 

The wireless network used by Schlegel Villages was comprised of outdated equipment that could no longer meet the increasing demands of Schlegel’s team members and residents. Schlegel operates 19 long-term care and retirement villages across Ontario. It has a staff of 4,800 full-time and part-time members.

The Schlegel employees needed Wi-Fi phones, and both team members and doctors require fast, efficient communications and access to clinical information in real-time.

Schlegel’s IT team knew they needed a more robust, 24/7 network that could accommodate these requirements. The ideal system would be able to host company’s clinical software and new applications like PointClickCare to provide point-of-care services to residents.

The IT team wanted a network that could be managed centrally and automatically, rather than necessitating manual updating of each access point.

Working with leading IT solutions provider CDW Canada, Schlegel Villages considered solutions from several vendors including Cisco before selecting Aruba to deliver their new network.

Schlegel Villages was already an Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) switching customer and had been using Aruba wireless solutions in their corporate offices, so according to Chris Carde, director of Information Technologies for Schlegel Villages.

He said the decision to go with Aruba was an easy one.

“Having a pervasive and secure Wi-Fi network that could accommodate both existing and new applications was the top priority for our Villages,” said Carde. “We were already familiar with Aruba and knew that they could provide a solid foundation for the kinds of applications our care team members and doctors need to improve efficiency and productivity.”

Carde said his team liked Aruba’s ability to provide “centralized management and visibility into the network with tools like AirWave that help our IT team automate previously manual processes.”

Schlegel’s deployment will take place in two phases, with the pervasive Wi-Fi network installation already complete and Schlegel’s new PointClickCare application fully deployed by mid-2018.

The company has already installed Aruba 7200 Series controllers and 900+ Aruba 310 Series APs which deliver 802.11ac Wave 2.

This includes built-in Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons that the retirement village can leverage in the future for location-based services like mobile engagement and asset tracking.

In phase two, Schlegel will deploy another 600+ APs, Aruba AirWave for network management and Aruba 270 Series APs to extend Wi-Fi coverage outdoors in Schlegel’s parking garages.

The garage coverage will enable team members and guests to connect quickly when arriving at Schlegel’s Villages and will provide connectivity for maintenance employees.

 One of the top priorities for Schlegel’s Wi-Fi network is enabling new applications, according to Carde.

PointClickCare will allow Schlegel’s care team members to collect information about residents on the spot, immediately enter it into their mobile devices, and upload that information so it can be shared with other team members and doctors. This eliminates the previously manual process that team members would have to undertake, writing notes on paper and then going back to fixed stations to enter that information, he said.

The deployment also means that Schlegel’s care team will be operating in a mobile-first environment. They will be equipped with new Wi-Fi phones and tablets – personnel will no longer be tethered t their stations and can receive calls from anywhere in their “village.” This will allow them to respond to residents’ requests quickly and share information with other team members and doctors immediately. 

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