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How to Successfully Plan Telecommunications Rooms in Healthcare Facilities

by Teddi Strassburger on September 1, 2021

AdobeStock_361978490So much goes into taking care of patients. Beyond the hard-working medical staff in exam rooms and surgical suites, information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure also plays a key role in contributing to the health of patients. Standards for ICT infrastructure are rapidly changing, and it can be difficult to design, build and specify for Healthcare facilities' needs when regulations continue to evolve. How do you create the system your facility requires while staying on budget and leaving room for future growth?

One of the most important goals for those designing and building Healthcare facilities is meeting the International Building Code's (IBC) Risk Category IV criteria, which states that hospitals, including their nonstructural components, are critical and must be designed to stay operational, even during natural disasters and other emergencies. Makes sense! However, since most natural disasters are unpredictable and uncontrollable, there is, of course, a lot of preparation that goes into ensuring a Healthcare facility's network stays online. To ensure operation during flooding and hurricanes, for example, TIA-569-D 6.3.8 requires that Telecommunications Rooms (TRs) must be located above water level, unless preventative measures against water infiltration are employed, and that's just one consideration.

Consider also: earthquakes and seismic activity. Healthcare facilities are required to be capable of continuing operations after earthquakes, as well. Under the California Building Code (CBC), California, a hot spot for seismic activity,  requires that all critical facilities meet the most stringent seismic design requirements. To speed permitting, the OSHPD preapproval of manufacturer's certification (OPM) allows manufacturers to precertify an OSHPD-compliant anchorage design (which is sufficient in any seismic zone), meaning contractors don't have to retain an engineer to design rack anchorage. You can use OSHPD's OPM to shortlist some racks of interest and compare the details to identify the highest seismic load, making your decision a little simpler in this area.

Designing and planning your Healthcare facility's Telecommunications Room requires special considerations beyond the norm. Going further than what we've already discussed in this blog post, here are some other guidelines you can use to help you plan and implement a successful ICT infrastructure for the future of your Healthcare facility: 

  • Accommodate additional systems with larger equipment and TR sizes 
  • Simplify your project by specifying and selecting the infrastructure from a few vendors, or just one, to allow for compatibility in sizing (and lead times!) 
  • Plan cable management and pathway spaces with at least 50% open space for future moves, adds and changes, and use solutions that are compatible with both copper and optical fiber to support higher density cabling without impacting airflow
  • Select products with advanced features, such as tool-less installation, adjustability and integrated bonding studs - all of these offer some great benefits to help with installation and future changes
  • Monitor power, environmental conditions and security in equipment and TRs to help prevent power outages and protect your data 
  • Take advantage of a manufacturers' online tools, such as cable fill tables that provide recommended and maximum cable fill values for the specific cable management and pathway products included in the project

Chatsworth Products (CPI) can help you successfully plan your Telecommunications Room and prepare for the future needs of your Healthcare facility. Reach out to your local Accu-Tech representative to get started, and learn more about CPI's solutions here.

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Topics: CPI healthcare chatsworth telecommunications telecom room ict

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