St. Vincent's Hospital is one of five medical facilities that are part of the St. Vincent's Health System in Birmingham, Alabama. Located on a sprawling campus surrounded by numerous multi-story buildings, the hospital faced new communications challenges when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandated migration to Narrowbanding in 2013. The radio system in place at that time was unable to adequately handle the change, resulting in coverage gaps, signal loss, and interference between systems and frequencies caused by numerous separate repeaters. In addition, new HIPAA requirements regarding Patient Protective Information came into effect, addressing the security of the use of radios in direct patient care roles. St. Vincent's was looking for a cost-effective, scalable system that could be easily integrated into facilities that might be acquired in the future

To meet these challenges, Hytera dealer Falcon Wireless, recommended a cost-effective DMR digital system consisting of 30 PD782U handheld radios, 2 RD982U repeaters, and interfacing programming software. The move to digital and use of dual-slot programming would allow the facility to conform to the FCC Narrowbanding requirements. It would also double repeater capacity, improve coverage, and enhance operational capabilities with both voice and text messaging functions for group and individual communications.


Higher Spectrum Efficiency, Higher Channel Capacity
The TDMA technology allows twice the channels based on the same spectrum resource. This relieves the stress of increasing shortage in spectrum resource.
Secure Communication
Besides the encryption inherent to digital technology, the PD7 Series radios provide enhanced encryption capabilities (such as 256-bit encryption algorithm). It has analog scrambling, and digital encryption using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and ARCFOUR (ARC4) encryption methodology to both voice and data.)
Superior Voice
With the adoption of the AGC technology in combination with the application of narrowband codec and digital error correction technologies, the PD7 Series radios ensure your voice is clear and crisp even in noisy environments or at the edge of the coverage area.
Emergency Button
The PD7 Series radios enable a user to signal an emergency situation by holding the dedicated emergency top key. The emergency signal can be programmed to be audible or silent and will be sent to the radio(s) that have been set to receive it.
50W High Power
Maximum repeating power of 50W, and thus increasing the system coverage with less setup equipment.


Since the initial implementation of the Hytera system, St. Vincent's Hospital has purchased additional equipment, and now uses approximately 80 PD782U handhelds, 10 base/mobile units, and 2 RD982 repeaters. The facility is also in the process of integrating the very affordable Hytera PD362U handheld radios in areas that still require secure communications, but do not necessarily need all the functions of the PD782U radios. The new digital system allowed the establishment of a Digital Command system, as well as a Security Operations system, which provides uninterrupted communications with other analog devices on campus.

The reduced number of repeaters minimizes interference between frequencies, resulting in enhanced radio frequency isolation. Users have the ability to securely communicate patient care needs, meeting all HIPPA confidentiality and privacy requirements. Interfacing programming software allows radio reprogramming to be performed on site, significantly reducing operational costs. Dual-slot programming on each repeater results in decreased maintenance costs that are incurred with continuous 24/7 use.

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9 August 2017

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