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COMPANY
Feet for Life Podiatry Centers

CHALLENGE
Communications roadblock with coordinating patient services and information across multiple locations

SOLUTION
Feet for Life collaborates with Tech Electronics to install a multi-site VPN and VoIP Telephone System

RESULTS
Feet for Life now has a secure network and streamlined communications systems between its three offices.


 

BACKGROUND
Feet for Life Podiatry Centers have been serving the St. Louis area for more than 20 years and were one of the largest podiatry practices in the Midwest.  Dedicated to finding the cause and solution to heel and foot care, Feet for Life is a leader in providing the best care solutions to its patients.

Feet for Life has three office locations throughout the greater St. Louis area and under the direction of Dr. Michael Horwitz, a board certified foot surgeon, the podiatry centers cover all aspect of foot and ankle treatment and serve more than 300 patients per month.  Coordinating patient services and information between the various clinics is essential, but the podiatry centers were faced with a major communications roadblock.

“Having to tell a patient to hang up and call another location’s number because I couldn’t transfer them was a major problem,” said Amey Drake, operations manager of Feet for Life. “We needed a better solution than dialing long distance numbers to communicate between each office.”

SEARCHING FOR A COMMUNICATIONS SOLE-MATE
Feet for Life enlisted Tech Electronics, a technology services organization and systems integrator, to assess the company’s network and make recommendations on a communications system that would best fit both the staff and patients’ needs.

“We researched other integrators and knew Tech Electronics had a great reputation working with health care organizations of all sizes and could handle our needs as we grew,” said Drake.

To enable stronger business continuity for file sharing and server access, Tech Electronics determined that Feet for Life would need a multi-site Virtual Private Network (VPN) to allow secure access throughout the different Feet for Life locations.

Tech Electronics designed and installed a multi-site VPN using SonicWALL Firewall and Routers by Dell. This solution is essential to an intelligent and highly adaptive security system, allowing for easy-to-manage intrusion prevention and anti-malware support to mobile employees and branch offices. Also, this system can be integrated with a centralized VoIP system as well as Internet Protocol (IP) video surveillance across all sites.

The SonicWALL multi-site VPN offers secure remote access from desktops, laptops smartphones and tablets. The network can scale its size to fit the needs of any organization, from large to small, allowing Feet for Life to utilize the network now and in the future.

As the local leader in applications of Voice & Data, Tech Electronics recommended VoIP solutions by Mitel, providing both the installation and training of the system. The VoIP system allows a simpler way for businesses to transmit electronic data and telephone calls on the same network line. The system integrates itself into real-time connections from the main database to remote locations while reducing equipment and space requirements. The VoIP system lowers telephone costs and long-distance fees for businesses, typically saving as much as a 20 percent in costs reductions over traditional phone networks.

To integrate the new systems, minor changes needed to be made to the phone service and the Internet connections to allow for complete compatibly with VoIP and the multi-site VPN. Additionally, for the VoIP system to work properly, Tech Electronics installed a Brocade Network core Ethernet switch to enable superior Quality of Service (QoS) and the virtual local area network (VLAN) necessary for a successful VoIP deployment. The Brocade switch was the foundation for high-performing connection and storage as the multi-site VPN and VoIP systems connected the different locations.

TAKING STRIDES FOR THE FUTURE

“The technology systems that Tech Electronics installed helped us streamline our offices’ communications system,” Drake said. “We can now continue to grow without the worry of the phone systems or the logistics of the network, and feel like one unified office instead of seemingly functioning as separate entities.”

As a part of the installation process, Tech Electronics provides teaching and training on how to utilize the new systems. Feet for Life now can intercommunicate between the several office locations with ease and transfer patient calls has never been easier.

Tech Electronics has worked as a trusted consultant with Feet for Life for three years now and continues to offer IT services and support for the new communications system. Currently, Tech Electronics is working with Feet for Life to find a new server for the company; as a result of the expansion, its original server was not large enough.  The service-oriented systems integrator is working alongside Feet for Life’s current Electronic Health Record (EHR) Company to ensure the server will be compliant and compatible with their software and technology needs.

CONCLUSION
The technology systems that Tech Electronics installed helped Feet for Life streamline its offices’ communications systems. The health care organization can now continue to grow without the worry of the phone systems or the logistics of the network and feel like one unified office.

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