Building Better Models by Building Better Relationships

The prevalence of technology in the design business today means that team members are literally sharing gigabytes of information at fiber optic speeds.  For the most part, this is great.  We can work faster and almost anywhere in the world with near instantaneous access to the latest update of the last square foot.  Lately, though, I have come to think that in our zealous embrace of data and information, we risk losing the understanding required to foster solid relationships among individuals and their firms. I’m revealing a little about my age here, but when I first started in this industry,... Read More

Wi-Fi It? Upgrading Your Wireless Network

For many of our clients, the demand for fast and reliable Wi-Fi networks continues to grow. The move to high-speed, high-capacity Wi-Fi networking equipment has allowed wireless networks to transition from being a supplemental network to becoming the primary means by which we connect to any network, whether at home, work, or in public spaces. In addition, up and coming wireless standards are recommending very fast network speeds, which will only increase this demand even more. We are seeing staff, visitors, and other network users increasingly adopting mobile devices that rely solely on Wi-Fi for connectivity to the Internet and... Read More

Technology Design Innovations

[The following is republished with permission from ADVANCE for Long-Term Care Management Magazine. This article was originally published in the September/October 2011 issue of ADVANCE.] Person-centered care has become a design principle for architects and engineers in the senior care market. PCC strives to provide a home-like environment where residents care for each other and receive dignified professional attention, while contributing to the greater community. What many people don’t realize is that wireless technology can greatly enhance the ability to seamlessly implement PCC. It influences the way people can live in retirement communities and the way those respective communities provide... Read More

The Wireless the Better

In the seniors and long-term care (LTC) housing markets, emergency call systems (sometimes referred to as call bell systems) have become increasingly complex. More specifically, wireless emergency call systems have changed the notion of what a call bell system can do and have quickly developed into “community management” tools. This article outlines the top four reasons to utilize one of these wireless systems at your community. Note that many states accept wireless emergency call systems but may have specific regulations regarding their use. Please check your local and state regulations before making any decisions. “In the LTC housing market, we... Read More

The Net Worth of Your Network

With 73% of all Americans and 71% of 50-64 year olds using the World Wide Web, there is no doubt that how your community provides Internet access to your residents is very important. There are different ways for a community to provide high-speed, broadband Internet access to residents. One way is to have each resident work directly with the telephone or cable television carrier that services the area. Another is for your community to supply Internet access to each individual resident. Both of these options have their pros and cons, and selecting the right option greatly depends on your community’s... Read More

Views on VoIP

As happens with new undertakings, key “lessons learned” often result. Such is the case with our recent experience in designing our new State College office building. We would like to share with you some of this know-how regarding the selection of a new communications platform, specifically a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) platform. VoIP may not be the most suitable solution for everyone. In the instances where a VoIP platform is appropriate, several key factors are important when deciding exactly which product to choose. Can your existing network handle the additional VoIP traffic and is it optimized to operate with... Read More

Down to the Wire

Are you looking to cut the wires out of your nurse call replacement? Wireless nurse call is spreading into the skilled nursing arena because it allows for simple and rapid installation into any building, regardless of age. This is especially important for existing facilities where installing new equipment is invasive and time consuming. Wireless also allows residents the flexibility to be anywhere in their room or the nursing facility and have their call button along. Despite the flexibility of its installation, there are concerns with using wireless nurse call in skilled nursing facilities. These concerns include adequate facility coverage, battery... Read More

Filling the VoIP VoID

It is not a matter of if, but a matter of when, VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) will become the standard for voice communications. VoIP is the process of converting voice transmissions into digital data packets and sending them over the data network or Internet. This allows the wiring and supporting infrastructure for the voice and data systems, traditionally separate systems, to converge into one. Many of the top manufacturers of switched (PBX) phone systems are simply stopping development of their traditional switched systems and focusing on migration strategies and new features for VoIP systems. Companies like Nortel, Avaya, and... Read More