Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1986, the Mercy health system is the fifth largest Catholic healthcare system in the United States and includes 33 acute care hospitals, 4 heart hospitals, 2 children’s hospitals and another nearly 700 healthcare facilities throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Named a 2014 “Most Wired” healthcare organization by the American Hospital Association, Mercy is also among the first healthcare organizations in the U.S. to deploy a comprehensive, integrated electronic health record system and provide patients with online access to their medical information and doctors.
The newest Mercy Hospital location opened in Joplin, MO just last month. With millions of feet of cabling running throughout the new hospital to deliver information for everything from patient monitoring, nurse call and digital diagnostics, to audiovisual, security and building automation, designers need to consider cost-effectiveness, performance and occupant safety. By standardizing on General Cable’s 17 FREE line of cables, Mercy Hospital Joplin and subsequent Mercy facilities are able to deliver all three.
During the initial planning phase for the new Mercy Hospital Joplin and Mercy Orthopedic Hospital in Springfield, MO, there was some concern surrounding the high cost of plenum-rated cable, which was nearly double that of riser-rated cable. Instead of being faced with the high cost of plenum cable or the safety concerns of riser-rated cable, General Cable introduced a third option—17 FREE.
17 FREE cables are a unique class of halogen-free, riser-rated network communication cables that offer increased safety for occupants and yet cost only marginally more than traditional riser-rated cable for significant savings over plenum-rated cable. Available in Category 5e, 6 and 6A, 17 FREE cables are all made without halogens. Additionally, the output produced has a significantly reduce halogen acid content, which may prevent costly damage to expensive and sensitive electronics equipment used in healthcare facilities.
“17 FREE saved us 40 percent on material cost versus plenum with nearly the same level of safety,” said Larry Smith, manager of data cabling services with Mercy Technology Services (MTS). “Even though we could have installed traditional riser-rated cable, 17 FREE reduces the toxins and met our concerns for safety.”