One flagship health organization in rural Arkansas becomes future ready with robust broadband connectivity. 

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Located outside historic Memphis just west of the Mississippi River, East Arkansas Family Health Center (EAFHC) is a non-profit primary care organization devoted to providing accessible, affordable, and quality primary care, dental care, and support services to the underserved residents in four counties across rural Arkansas. Established in 1974, they provide a full range of primary medical and dental services and deliver comprehensive treatment and support plans for patient success. 

With over 57,000 patient visits a year and nearly 300 medical and support staff, EAFHC is strengthening their infrastructure to support their network and technology needs of today and tomorrow. 


Shoring up the Infrastructure

In the current digital age of healthcare, technology and connectivity play a critical role in successfully delivering comprehensive, quality care to patients. When EAFHC knew they would be rapidly expanding their organization with additional clinical sites, they understood upgrades to the existing infrastructure were essential to meeting their providers and patients escalating technology and communication needs. 

After a thorough review of their pain points and connectivity requirements, TeleQuality’s expert network engineers deployed a custom-designed TQ HealthNet WAN solution to every EAFHC location. The network reconfiguration and upgrade seamlessly connected all organization locations, significantly increased bandwidth speeds by a 3x-5x margin, and enhanced the efficiency of EAFHC’s business operations and health technology services.  

With TQ HealthNet, EAFHC’s network is now equipped to handle all data capacity and communication needs, and their medical staff, support staff, and patients can reap the benefits of having a robust infrastructure in place. Administrative functions, site-to-site data transfer, electronic medical records (EMR), and cloud applications now experience enhanced speed and interruption-free efficiency with TQ HealthNet.  

A Seamless Transition

With an uncompromising commitment to expanding access to care in their community, EAFHC applied for and was awarded a $5 million grant from the Health Resources & Service Administration to build a new 35,200 square-foot, state-of-the-art medical and dental facility in West Memphis to replace their aging and overcrowded 7,700 square-foot facility. 

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The new expansions plans significantly increased their impact by enabling EAFHC to hire four new medical and two new dental providers, increase capacity to treat nearly 10,000 new patients, and provide nearly 27,000 new visits to the community. Additionally, it allowed them to expand into new patient services including case management, prescriptive diet programs, extensive health education programs, exercise programs, and nutrition counseling.  

With the grand opening of their new facility around the corner, EAFHC knew a smooth transition of their network infrastructure was crucial to ensuring no network downtime would impede their ability to serve patients. 

“I had nightmares about opening day. Were we going to be connected on the EMR and be able to see our first patient that day? With TeleQuality’s assistance and guidance on infrastructure support, it allowed us to be up and running on opening day, and still connected to our other sites,” says EAFHC CEO, Dr. Susan Ward-Jones.

With the advent of electronic health records, online patient portals, and Internet-based health care delivery such as telehealth and telemedicine, having a network outage or failure, even for a few hours, is simply not an option. In preparation for the big move, TeleQuality created a detailed infrastructure migration plan and was able to successfully move all their circuits in one fluid transition to the new site without any loss in connectivity.  

We are so heavily dependent on Internet connectivity, especially now that we don’t support paper charts anymore and run everything through our EMR. With TeleQuality’s assistance, our connectivity was flawless the first day.
 
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A Partner for Today and Tomorrow

With more expansion plans in the future including telehealth services and dental services at their Helena site, EAFHC knows they have a service partner that will be there with them each step along the way. 

At TeleQuality, our mission is to help our healthcare partners provide the best health care they can to the communities they serve.  And we live that mission every day by identifying the best options for our customers and helping them to reach their connectivity and technology goals.

If there’s one thing to expect with EAFHC, it’s that this is only the first chapter of their story. 

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“We are on the cusp of being greater than we think we can be,” says Dr. Ward-Jones.

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