Huddle Rooms: Lehigh Valley Health Network
Nov 13, 2014 9:57 AM
The Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), serving the Allentown, Penn. area, has a variety of campuses where a small group of colleagues often need to consult with a group at another location. The LVHN’s new, 17,000-square-foot One City Center is a high-tech sports medicine and fitness center available to high school athletes and the community. The space also serves as the training and rehabilitation facility for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms professional ice hockey team.
For the large office space at One City Center, Vistacom was brought in to design and integrate several huddle rooms. The huddle rooms deployed for this hospital network are flexible rooms with simple user-friendly and redundant technology. The use of videoconferencing as an enabling technology for this hospital network has become pervasive over the past several years. As a widely dispersed network, facilitating collaborative, face-to-face sessions over the hospital’s conferencing infrastructure allows the user excellent access to various personnel. As One City Center transforms downtown Allentown, Lehigh Valley Health Network will help transform the health and well-being of people throughout the region.
The huddle rooms are areas where a cluster of about four users can schedule a time to collaborate with a colleague offsite. They use the spaces ad hoc and plug in the technology they need to communicate with all the other campuses within the Lehigh Valley network. The space is designed to facilitate communications between: administration to administration, administration to clinical, and clinical to clinical.
The goal was to create an ergonomic environment that allowed the users simple and logical access to the equipment. “The wall holding the display became an installation issue because we had to coordinate how to install a 65in. display on to a wall that is already outfitted with acoustic material,” says Rich Mullen, CTS, Vistacom’s senior account executive for the LVHN project. “The engineering department coordinated the fit of those rooms with construction stanchions that allow the installation team the correct mounting details so they could put displays on top of acoustic material.”
A main difference between a huddle room and videoconferencing room is the level of furnishings in the room. “It’s more like sitting in a comfortable lounge chair in your living room rather than sitting around a conference table where the atmosphere is rigid and structured,” Mullen says. “The tables in there are round with pull out shelves for a laptop. You can recline in the chair with a notepad and take notes like you were in your living room.”
A comfortable environment allows for fluid flow of communications. That’s different than sitting in a standard smaller conference room outfitted with a touchpanel. These huddle rooms have no touchpanel. They just use the wireless remote control for the Cisco. “It is almost a telepresence experience without the immersive environment,” Mullen says. “It’s great to have discussions in the huddle room because dialogue flows naturally and technology does not get in the way.”