CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, July 7, 2008 — As flood waters rose in Iowa, Cedar Rapids-based Mercy Medical Center was in danger of losing vital communications systems as the hospital prepared to evacuate its patients. With the help of Qwest Communications’ technology solutions, complemented by exceptional support, Qwest helped Mercy keep the hospital’s critical network infrastructure intact, and essential communications and data access operational.
On June 13, when it became clear that Mercy’s fundamental Qwest network hardware was in danger of submersion under flood waters, Qwest technicians were on site to help hospital administrators physically move essential network communications equipment out of harm’s way immediately. Mercy uses Qwest iQ Networking services to connect voice and data communications for the hospital’s 20-location network.
“Communications services are crucial, and as we were evacuating the hospital and transferring patients, Qwest’s technology and employees kept us connected,” said Jeff Cash, vice president and chief information officer at Mercy Medical Center. “As one of the largest hospitals serving Eastern Iowa, our first priority is to preserve the safety of our patients, provide access to their vital hospital records, and maintain communications with critical emergency service providers. It quickly became clear that as our network provider, Qwest shared our priorities.”
Qwest advanced technology – and the rapid deployment of technicians on the ground to assist with relocation – helped all of Mercy’s facilities maintain communications and access to vital databases during the evacuation of the main hospital. Patient care proceeded with minimal interruption and contact was maintained with patients’ families, emergency personnel and city officials.
“Qwest technicians worked around the clock to keep Qwest’s business and residential customer operations intact using world-class solutions and good, old-fashioned teamwork,” said Max Phillips, Qwest state president for Iowa. “It’s our goal to anticipate as well as meet our customers’ needs, and this is a great example of our efforts to do more than is expected.”
Throughout the disaster, Qwest services have been maintained with only isolated outages. Qwest continues to offer Call Forwarding to customers in Iowa impacted by the flooding. Call Forwarding enables customers to have calls automatically forwarded to another phone number. Qwest customers who have been impacted can call 1 800-573-1311 to set up Call Forwarding free of monthly charges. For more information on Qwest’s disaster recovery or business continuity services for businesses, please call 1 866-207-0082.
Customers coast to coast turn to Qwest's industry-leading national fiber-optic network and world-class Spirit of Service to meet their communications and entertainment needs. For residential customers, Qwest’s powerful combination of award-winning high-speed Internet,home and wireless voice solutions and digital TV includes a new generation of fiber-optic Internet services. Qwest is also the choice of 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies, offering a full suite of network, data and voice services for small businesses, large businesses, government agencies and wholesale customers. Additionally, Qwest participates in Networx, the largest communications services contract in the world, and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by a leading technology industry analyst firm.