UC Davis Health has optimized the space in its telecommunications rooms by using equipment supplied by Panduit and Prysmian.

Photo courtesy of UC Davis Health.

Situated on a 144-acre campus in Sacramento, Calif., UC Davis Health serves a 65,000-square-mile area that includes 33 counties and 6 million residents across Northern and Central California. The 625-bed acute care teaching hospital admits 30,000 patients annually and handles nearly 1 million visits. The hospital offers primary care for all ages, specialty care in 150 fields, and the latest treatment options and expertise for the most complex health conditions. 

Beyond patient care, the growing demand for wireless connectivity and connected building systems required an always-on infrastructure that could support hospital facilities. This robust foundation is necessary to support network needs for today and looking forward.

In addition, UC Davis needed to enhance its facilities operations through improved data collection. With more than 100 buildings in its health care system, hospital officials wanted to collect the right data at the right points. This would allow the hospital to improve patient flows, track medical equipment and improve staffing, with the goal of optimizing operations.

Other key objectives for UC Davis’ information technology (IT) infrastructure facilities, auxiliary services and data center services groups were to meet the growing demand to support Wi-Fi applications and Power over Ethernet (PoE), and stay current with new standards, codes and hospital policy changes.

Panduit, Tinley Park, Ill., and Prysmian (formerly operating as General Cable), Milan, Italy, have a relationship with UC Davis that extends back 15 years through hundreds of projects, both big and small, ranging from new buildings to renovations. Over the years, the hospital’s cabling solution evolved from a minimum-compliant Category 6 to an enhanced Category 6 and now Category 6A. Today, UC Davis systems are built on GenSPEED 10 MTP small diameter Category 6A cable from Prysmian. Each cabling evolution was completed to keep up with PoE and wireless technology. When wireless technology changed from Wave 1 at 1-gigabyte transmission to Wave II, transmitting at 2.5, 5 or 10 gigabytes, UC Davis upgraded to GenSPEED 10 MTP for all wireless access points to handle the higher speed requirements.

The health care organization has standardized on GenSPEED 10 MTP, which not only accommodates PoE++ to carry greater power capacity and the latest Wi-Fi technology, but also has the smallest diameter available in a Category 6A cable (0.230 inches), saving space in pathways and conduits.

Throughout the system, UC Davis is supported by four data centers (one on-premise and three multitenant data centers) and 250 telecommunications rooms. The campus has 70,000 cable drops, which encompass 140,000 Panduit connectors and more than 12 million feet of cable from Prysmian. 

Telecommunication rooms are optimized to allow the most efficient use of space using Panduit PatchRunner 2 enhanced vertical cable managers, which allow patching in the cable manager, paired with high-density patch panels and 28 American wire gauge patch cords, and high-density horizontal cable managers. This combination of products consolidates patching and cable management to free up rack space for other equipment. Also, Panduit’s QuickNet plug pack housing speeds the installation of patching solutions. 

This 10GBASE-T infrastructure, which supports 10-gigabit technology, is helping the hospital to meet critical needs.

“Our clinicians are our consumers of the technology we provide,” says Lopaka Gaspar, IT facilities data center supervisor at UC Davis. “Their experience — be it positive or negative — is important to us. We are always trying to improve their experience through how applications and services are accessed, via mobile devices [and] web interfaces and [for] ease of use.”

Today, UC Davis collects a wealth of data about equipment and medical orders, patient flow and length of stays. Mining that data in a constructive way allows the hospital to provide better services and improve patient care.

The results have garnered impressive accolades. UC Davis placed at the highest level in the annual College of Healthcare Information Management Executives’ Digital Health Most Wired survey, which recognizes the use of IT by health care organizations. The hospital has received this award for 11 consecutive years, most recently in 2022, and earned a certified level 10, the highest level for both acute and ambulatory care.

“This recognition highlights UC Davis Health’s IT as a leader in the health care IT industry and validates the investments and designs of our IT systems, improving outcomes for our clinicians and patients,” Gaspar says.