Owosso, MI—Arialink and Memorial Healthcare took their first dig on Wednesday to commence their new fiber optic venture. This launched the development of the new network that will connect Memorial Healthcare to 12 rural healthcare facilities.
“The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has funded a Rural Health Care Pilot Project grant, also known as the ‘fiber-build’ project to stimulate deployment of the broadband infrastructure necessary to support healthcare,” said James M. Full, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Healthcare. “The purpose of this project is to help rural hospital systems and other types of rural healthcare provider networks build fiber to their eligible satellite sites and/or to help major health care system networks link rural hospitals together.”
Memorial Healthcare applied for the grant in 2010 and will provide 15 percent of the funding for this $2.46 million project. According to Memorial Healthcare’s Vice President of Information Systems, Frank Fear, “Having efficient and reliable access to patients’ medical information is key to providing high quality patient care. This project will dramatically improve the speed at which information will be provided to our clinicians.”
The new connectivity will positively impact the providers and patients in several communities in Shiawassee County. “I’m looking forward to having fiber optic connectivity at our medical practice,” says Gregg Landick, MD, a family medicine physician located in Chesaning. “This will improve our ability to communicate with the hospital’s electronic medical record and allow easier access to our patients’ test results such as x-ray and labs.”
With a connection to the Healthcare ONE (Optical Network Exchange) system, patient records can be can be accessed instantaneously across the Memorial Healthcare network. In an emergency when every second counts, information that otherwise would take hours to download can now be sent and received instantly. Now, Memorial Healthcare branches will have the fastest, most innovative technology in the world, regardless of location.
“Our Healthcare ONE system will be such an asset to patient care at Memorial Healthcare,” Arialink president and CEO Jason Schreiber said. “With the increased reliability and security provided by fiber optics, Memorial connections will be able to transfer high-definition X-rays and real-time records while ensuring patient privacy and security.”
Arialink’s Healthcare ONE will use state-of-the-art fiber optic cable to connect Memorial Healthcare, spanning about 100 miles across the new rural communities. Arialink has partnered with Owosso service provider Daystarr Communications to help with the expansion that will connect 12 facilities in Mid-Michigan via dedicated fiber optic lines. These locations include Memorial Healthcare’s main campus in Owosso and nine satellite outpatient locations in the towns of Chesaning, Corunna, Durand, Ovid, Laingsburg and Perry. Daystarr intends to expand the fiber even further into the communities to reach more local businesses.
The ground breaking event was held at the Memorial Healthcare Auditorium and showcased Owosso Mayor Ben Frederick; Memorial Healthcare’s James M. Full, Frank Fear, and Todd Wyzynajtys; Arialink’s Jason Schreiber and Tim Lebel; and the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Renita Mikolajczyk.
Established in 2003, Arialink is the Lansing area’s largest provider of high speed fiber optic internet and phone service. With nearly 600 miles of fiber webbing the center of the state, Arialink offers speed-of-light service and direct fiber optic peering to major Internet hubs in Chicago and Washington D.C.
Memorial Healthcare is an accredited, 150-bed facility located in Owosso, Michigan. The hospital also operates satellite offices located throughout Shiawassee County. Memorial Healthcare is the only hospital in Shiawassee County, serving a population of approximately 100,000.