McKenzie Medical Center is a physician-owned practice that has served the healthcare needs of Western Tennessee’s rural communities for over 30 years. The third largest employer in the region, McKenzie’s approximately 280 employees treat more than 650 patients a day. McKenzie’s driving vision of “Every Patient. Every Time.” helps its staff focus on providing the same compassionate and quality care for patients as they would expect for their own families. In addition to its main facilities in McKenzie, TN, the medical center includes three additional satellite clinics in Bruceton, Dresden and Gleason.

In order to serve the medical needs of this large rural community, the McKenzie Medical Center must have the fastest network available and the best technical support possible to manage its operations. However, the medical center was struggling with bandwidth issues that had not kept pace with its exceptional growth and technical support that would take hours and sometimes days to respond. It’s prior Internet provider had installed T-1 lines that no longer served its needs and the wide-area network (WAN) that connected its three satellite clinics to the main facility was slow, causing frustration among caregivers and staff and impeding their ability to serve patients in an effective manner.

In addition, IT costs kept creeping up while the quality of technical support kept going down. By the time their contract was about to expire, the McKenzie IT staff were ready for a new provider. “Productivity was down and frustrations with slow Internet speeds were mounting amongst doctors and nurses,” said Don Page, IT Manager for McKenzie Medical Center. “Our old provider was Johnny-on-the-spot to sell us something, but when we needed them to solve a technical issue, they didn’t respond.”

Spectrum Business approached the McKenzie IT team with a better offer: faster Internet, a more robust WAN connection to the satellite clinics and more reliable technical support for less than half the cost. McKenzie was surprised and pleased with the offer. “It was time for a switch and Spectrum Business was the best solution for our needs,” said Page.

To get the ball rolling, Spectrum Business installed fiber optic lines with 1 Gbps speeds to the servers in the data center and 50Mbps Internet for McKenzie’s WAN. This delivered 20Mbps upload and download speeds to all facilities on the network. With 240 endpoints, 80 mobile devices, and 22 Wi-Fi units, McKenzie’s online operations have never been more robust. “Before Spectrum Business, we had serious delays with our Internet and this frustrated our caregivers because they couldn’t care for patients in a timely manner,” said Dave Wood, Network Administrator at McKenzie. “Today, we have the bandwidth we need to serve our patients at a high level.”

To help McKenzie improve customer wait times, Spectrum Business also installed public Internet service. “Having public Internet gives our patients a better experience in waiting rooms,” said Page. “It also gives employees access to the public Internet in the cafeteria for personal use, so they’re not taking bandwidth from the business network.” In addition to faster Internet, Spectrum Business provided five PRIs to connect McKenzie’s Merlin legacy phone system from all clinics into one system. “Spectrum Business saved us a bunch of money with the integration of our phone system,” said Wood. “They worked side by side with us to solve protocol issues and saved us two-thirds of the cost from our other provider.”

Finally, to improve the customer experience, Spectrum Business provided television service in the rehab fitness centers and waiting rooms of the clinics. “It’s the little things that matter,” said Page. “Being able to provide those little things lets our patients know we care about their experience.”

More Internet and Phone for 65% Lower Cost McKenzie now gets 10 times the bandwidth at one-third of the cost with better quality and a more reliable network. With the increased bandwidth and faster service, McKenzie medical staff are no longer frustrated with slow-loading apps and are able to see more patients in less time. “Ever since we switched to Spectrum Business, the medical staff have been singing our praises in management meetings,” said Page.

Technical Support as Fast as Its Internet The responsiveness of Spectrum Business’s Network Operation Center offers a one call resolution that has impressed the McKenzie IT staff compared to its previous provider. “With Spectrum Business, they’re responsive to our service needs and work with us to solve our problems quickly,” said Wood.

The Bottom Line As the largest healthcare provider for rural Western Tennessee communities, it’s essential for McKenzie Medical Center to have a committed technology partner to support its growth. To show its long-term commitment to rural medical facilities in the region, Spectrum Business joined the Tennessee Hospital Association. “Spectrum Business has proven they can provide what we need to serve both our patients and our medical staff,” said Wood. “It’s easy to talk the talk like our previous vendor, but Spectrum Business walks the walk.”

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