Exterity IPTV improves patient experience at Pacific Northwest Hospital

Exterity (part of the Vitec company) has announced that Overlake Medical Center, a 350-bed, non-profit regional hospital in Bellevue, Washington, USA, has installed a Exterity IPTV system.

Designed to improve the patient experience and manage the hospital’s in-house video requirements, the new system is a key part of Project FutureCare, an upgrade and refurbishment project currently in progress at the healthcare facility. With a budget of $250 million, the five-year project has seen a newly built, 240,000 square-foot tower which opened in February 2021. This new facility has a new concourse-style drop-off and improved wayfinding, while also offering larger, single-patient rooms that combine the space for family zones with technology. 

During the design phase, Jeni Connelly, IT senior project manager at Overlake, and technology lead for the new building, realised that a new IPTV system could act as a catalyst for improving patient experience at the Medical Center: “We evaluated our legacy video system – largely coaxial-based cable TV – and realised it didn’t support the in-room entertainment experience we wanted to offer our patients,” she says. “The New East Tower project gave us a chance to change that for the better. We decided to opt for a IPTV system as we felt it would be the ideal solution to address our ‘patient experience’ quandary, as well as service the full array of our day-to-day video needs.”

The IPTV system needed to consolidate 350 patient rooms – as well as common areas and a videowall in the entrance lobby – onto a single network, which is centrally managed and supervised. The hospital also hoped to upgrade the existing cable TV system to include video-on-demand (VoD) services, while giving patients swift access to information and educational videos as well as other internal content.

Neurilink, based in Boise, Idaho (with an office in Seattle) was chosen as the AV systems integrator for the project and started work in March 2020. The company worked with Exterity to design an IPTV system that would satisfy the varying demands of the hospital staff and patients alike. 

The system comprises a 4TB Management server that hosts all applications and devices on the system including VoD services and recordings, and in-house custom channels, including a patient education VoD library. Hollywood movies are also available for patient entertainment, with Pro:Idiom encrypted videos streamed directly to healthcare-grade SmartTVs. The system also incorporates ATSC and QAM Gateways to capture cable TV and OTA (over-the-air) channels to complement VoD and use, when required, the hospital’s existing RF system. In addition, an AvediaStream m9605 Media Player powers the videowall in the lobby and provides the ability to display 4K video and detailed graphics (up to 4K, 60fps). 

Each of the new patient rooms contains a hospital-grade display complete with a user interface custom-designed by the team. For convenience, the menu is navigated with the ‘nurse call’ pillow-speaker remote so that a single device is all that is needed for the patient to be in full control.

The Exterity IPTV solution means Overlake can provide patients and staff with managed access to different categories of content - whether VoD, in-house videos, proprietary programming or OTA broadcasts - via a streamlined system. The hospital has significantly improved the patient experience and delivers increased value for all of its stakeholders. 

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