The MRI Centers of St. Joseph County, an outpatient healthcare facility and dedicated center for MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), relies on the transmission of huge medical images between six different facilities. In the past, the various facilities comprising the MRI Centers used T1 Internet connections to distribute digital images, but these connections were simply not fast enough. Improved technology became a necessity if the facility was to effectively meet its demand and provide patients with state−of−the−art healthcare.
That is where the Metronet has proven to be a tremendous asset for the MRI Centers. Jack Seifert, chief technologist for the facility, first investigated the advantages of switching to the Metronet. As Seifert describes, while other commercial services were available to help the MRI Centers achieve what it needed, he realized that the St. Joe Valley Metronet was formed to serve as a backbone for the South Bend community, and it was important to support the new endeavor.
Although the original fiber network within the South Bend city limits did not extend quite far enough to include the MRI Centers’ central facility, successful negotiations with the Metronet developers resulted in expansion of the network. Three of the six MRI Centers facilities are now connected, and the projection is for the remaining facilities to join by the end of this year.
Since joining the network, the MRI Centers has reaped significant benefits. Connection to the Metronet fiber provides fast, reliable transmission, and for a very affordable fee. "Now we can efficiently transmit images back and forth in seconds, rather than minutes," says Seifert.
Another advantage is the potential for direct connection to medical facilities throughout the community for the sharing of electronic medical records (EMR). As Seifert points out, most healthcare facilities are moving in the direction of digital sharing of medical information, and the Metronet significantly increases the ability to upgrade medical images for improved sharing capabilities.
"This is what we’ve been waiting for, and we’ve had nothing but positive experiences since becoming affiliated with the Metronet," says Seifert. In just over six months it has realized the needs of the MRI Centers. "It’s a win−win situation for us as we continue to grow our ability to share our medical images throughout the community. The road is now paved for this expansion thanks to the Metronet."