Houston Methodist Hospital Deploys Bosch Digital Alerting System
Friday, January 04, 2019 | Comments

Walker Engineering recommended Bosch Praesideo digital public address and emergency sound system as for efficient communications across all 10 downtown Houston Methodist Hospital buildings.

The sprawling Houston Methodist Hospital used an assortment of older analog systems that were inadequate for the needs of a modern medical facility, including integration of a new 22-story, 1 million-square-foot building for cardiovascular and neurosurgery.

“We had previously upgraded several of the medical center’s suburban facilities, but the downtown campus was a different kind of challenge,” said Matt Kenjura, manager of technology preconstruction for Walker. “Each existing building had its own legacy paging system, and the goal was to find an operational approach that could pull those patchwork analog systems into a modern digital environment and do it without downtime to critical communications. Bosch Praesideo has the flexibility and scalability to keep all these adjacent systems working throughout the transition.”

In a hospital environment, communications is a critical component of efficient care delivery, most notably when a patient requires immediate assistance. Houston Methodist’s goal was to allow systemwide call distribution while enabling floor-level and single-building traffic to function without losing any of the 1,700-plus daily public address calls.

Bosch Praesideo enables the system’s control network to work with the existing analog amplifiers and transducers. These systems, in turn, are chained together based on which side of the street the building is located, essentially creating two primary control loops. An additional Praesideo system then connects all the buildings together to enable campuswide calls. This nested architecture functions as the core for the distribution network.

“All the mission-critical campus-wide paging resides on the network, backed up by two redundancy networks,” said Kenjura. “There’s a Praesideo network controller and audio expander in each building. Calls are routed according to priority and are routed locally on the floor, within a building or across the campus. The key is reliability and intelligibility, because a Code Blue call is literally life or death.”

The downtown Houston Methodist Hospital campus is operating roughly 3,000 audio channels to nearly 7,000 speakers across 126 zones in its 10 buildings, all running through a total of 14 interconnected systems. Beyond paging, the network handles data, intercom, access-controlled video surveillance, cable TV and mass notification of life safety systems.

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