High Speed at Lower Cost: OpenCape Connects Cape Cod Healthcare
Multiple locations of Cape Cod Healthcare were recently connected to the OpenCape fiber-optic network, ensuring reliable and diversified networking for the organization, with high-speed internet service at a lower cost. OpenCape is a Barnstable-based, nonprofit technology company that owns and operates a 100-percent fiber-optic network on the Cape, Islands and Southeastern Massachusetts.
Seventeen Cape Cod Healthcare (CCHC) locations are already active and live as part of the OpenCape network, including Cape Cod Hospital, Falmouth Hospital, Urgent Care Centers, medical offices, and administration offices. That means that CCHC doctors, nurses and other team members have the ability to share electronic files of any size quickly and safely, improving collaborative healthcare efforts and communication with patients. OpenCape’s network offers larger amounts of bandwidth, which provides increased capability for CCHC staff at all sites to access and exchange electronic records, images, documents, and other forms of computing.
“The capacity will help us do more,” said Paul Solverson, senior vice president and chief information officer at CCHC. “The upgraded and modern connection lays the foundation to do more with telehealth, telemedicine and imaging, and sets us up for the next generation of applications and connectivity.”
The initial discussions with OpenCape and CCHC in 2019 laid the groundwork for connecting the two hospitals and several other CCHC locations that accommodate members of finance, marketing and strategy divisions of the organization. Between July and September this year, OpenCape connected 14 more facilities and contributed funds through grants to facilitate build-outs and connections. In some cases, OpenCape built underground or looked to an aerial path, so CCHC could have diverse path options.
Steve Johnston, chief executive officer and executive director of OpenCape, said his organization sees CCHC as a long-term partner.
“Connecting healthcare facilities aligns with OpenCape’s nonprofit mission to support economic development and improve quality of life in our region through technology,” he said.
Solverson said the idea of teaming up with a local not-for-profit organization, which aims to provide the latest technology to healthcare workers, was an easy choice to make.
“This is our second wave of commitment to them,” he said. “They just connected 14 of our ambulatory sites in a very quick period of time, 90 days, which is remarkable.”
Telehealth became an integral part of medicine when the COVID-19 pandemic began, and as OpenCape continues to expand with more residential fiber, CCHC will be able to take advantage of the broad connectivity to their patients as well. CCHC has other connections, but in the healthcare world, you have to have multiple network connections, said Johnston. “Not only can CCHC move data throughout their locations on OpenCape’s reliable high-speed network, but telemedicine applications will benefit as well.”