The Geisinger Health System serves more than 2.6 million residents in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. When the integrated health services organization acquired Community Medical Center (CMC) in Scranton, it faced a huge $80 million project to improve the 232-bed hospital.
Among the changes, a top priority was upgrading the wire and cable infrastructure. Geisinger utilizes the Epic™ electrical medical record system alongside related clinical software. In order to connect rooms throughout the facility to these programs, Geisinger had to reconsider the way their infrastructure was designed. The 1960s-era building was not designed to accommodate data drops. Bob Rowlands, Electrical Engineer of Martin Rogers Engineering Consultants in Wilkes-Barre, commented on this hurdle: “In the patient rooms, the walls were very solid block. We didn’t even consider cutting into them.”
The patient rooms were also significantly smaller than rooms designed today. It was hard to find receptacles and data connections in rooms of that size. In addition, connections and cords could easily get damaged from beds and equipment rolling in and out of the rooms regularly. Rowlands and his team were looking for something that would be low profile and out of the way.
Raceway & Device Boxes Solve Challenges:
Because the wall couldn’t be cut into, the team knew they needed something different to accommodate the new systems and software. Wiremold® 2400 BD Series raceway, a metal surface raceway, was the perfect solution. With a low profile and the right capacity, the raceway was
“This box keeps wires and cables out of the way and is one less thing to protrude out and get hit by a bed or equipment cart.”
able to deliver power and data connectivity in patient rooms by running along the outside of the wall. Raceway sections were installed vertically on the walls running from the device box up to the ceiling.
Downward-facing device boxes were recommended, as they also provide a low profile and take up no additional space when cords are plugged in. According to Rowlands, this was critical for the sometimes heavy traffic these rooms could see. “This box keeps wires and cables out of the way and is one less thing to protrude out and get hit by a bed or equipment cart,” he said.
This renovation was on a tight schedule and involved many different electrical and data contractors assigned to separate floors working while the hospital was open and active. Despite the large number of contractors and the flux of a working hospital environment, the project was smoothly completed in less than 10 weeks. “We couldn’t change the building, so we had to find the best approach. It was the best way to do this project,” said Rowlands.
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