North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System recently contracted with Optimum Lightpath to build, install and maintain a metro Ethernet wide-area network (WAN).
Long Island, N.Y.-based LIJ — comprised of 15 hospitals, four long-term care facilities, a medical research institute, four trauma centers, five home health agencies and dozens of outpatient centers — needed a network that could handle the dissemination of images from a new diagnostic imaging system that had been installed in its radiology and cardiology departments. John Bosco, LIJ chief technology officer and vice president, says the health system originally contracted with Optimum Lightpath (a division of Cablevision based in Jericho, N.Y.) four years ago for a converged voice and IP solution.
LIJ did not engage in a formal request-for-proposal process, but Bosco says the health system did "do a formal analysis of our various options." The organization decided early on that the "buy" option trumped the "build" route and, based on the strength of the existing relationship, that Optimum Lightpath was a good fit to address LIJ's new needs, he adds.
Bosco says such decisions are based around five criteria: availability, scalability, resilience, cost, and level of comfort with the vendor. "I think that, as with any IT solution, you are looking to understand what your requirements are, then do analysis and have a discussion with each vendor. Each company has its own way of scoring vendors," he says.
With the new network, all branches of the heath system will be able to share the cardiology and radiology images — including physicians on their home computers linked up with only a high-speed connection.
The network is scheduled to be completed during the second quarter, Bosco says. Migration will involve initial linkage among four sites — the Long Island Jewish Medical Center (New Hyde Park, N.Y.), North Shore University Hospital (Manhasset, N.Y.), the new North Shore-LIJ Center for Advanced Medicine (Lake Success, N.Y.) and the hospital system's remote data center.
"We will temporarily maintain our existing network, and then cut over with little or no disruption," Bosco adds.