Technology Case Study: Shields Health Care Group keeps network healthy with agile Ethernet and Internet services

Filed Under: May 2017 Issue, Toolbox Articles

By Steve Walsh
Shields Health Care Group, the leading provider of MRI, PET/CT and radiation therapy services in New England, is using Comcast Business Ethernet and Internet at its 36 locations throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. The performance and reliability of the Comcast infrastructure allows radiologists to share large imaging files quickly across offices for fast diagnoses and patient service. The technology has allowed Shields to improve performance and reduce costs to better assist patients and providers
A family-run business for more than 30 years, Shields Health Care Group offers MRI, PET/CT and radiation therapy services across Massachusetts, in Southern New Hampshire and in Maine. To meet the company’s mission of providing affordable, access care along with top-quality treatment and diagnostic accuracy, radiologists must be able to quickly share files that range from 200 megabytes to one gigabyte in size between offices so each image is read and diagnosed as quickly as possible for patients and doctors.
“Our radiologists are our network monitoring system. We are notified immediately if there are any slow or non-working connections. With our last provider, we had several issues with the network and customer service. Since we switched to Comcast Business, we have been able to double the speed of our transfers for faster image sharing and have the ability to quickly expand our network to new healthcare partners in a matter of days,” said Chuck Spurr, CIO at Shields Health Care Group.
Dedicated to using cutting-edge technology in its centers to provide accurate, timely diagnoses, the Shields IT team required an infrastructure partner that provided fast, agile networking.
The group implemented Ethernet Network Service from Comcast Business with up to 100 Megabits-per-second (Mbps) of capacity that expedites the transfer of the data-heavy imaging files at 20 of its largest healthcare partners.
The remaining 16 providers access the Shields network through Comcast Business Internet broadband services. An additional 10 Gigabit-per-second (Gbps) port at the company’s main data center in Boston allows radiologists to easily send, store and access files across the network.
Shields locations also use this faster network to provide automated office services. As patients arrive for a visit, they are provided with a tablet to check in, complete any paperwork, check account balances and access their patient portals.
“We are able to do more with our network while remaining cost efficient. When we offer new services, there is never a question if the network can handle it as Comcast has provided an agile infrastructure that can grow as needed. Our customer support team helps us operate at peak performance.” Spurr added.
Shields is the leading provider of MRI and healthcare imaging scans for most major Massachusetts hospitals and the official MRI provider of Boston-area professional sports teams. As their radiologists travel between various offices, it is critical that they have the ability to easily access images quickly to address patient questions. Comcast has been able to successfully meet the goal of providing flexible, responsive network services to assist Shields in serving their patients.
Steve Walsh is Vice President of Comcast Business for Comcast’s Greater Boston Region, covering the Eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine operating area. Learn more at
This article was published in the May 2017 issue of Cape & Plymouth Business.

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