Four Alegent Health Hospitals to be Connected to Qwest High-Speed Network

OMAHA, Neb., March 4, 2003 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. today announced that four Alegent Health hospitals in the Omaha metro area ? Bergan Mercy Medical Center, Immanuel Medical Center, Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs and Midlands Hospital in Papillion, Neb. - will now be connected to one another by a Qwest high-speed broadband connection. The fast, reliable connection ensures that patient information will arrive at its destination securely and virtually instantaneously.

Through two multi-year contracts totaling several million dollars, Qwest will provide a one gigabit connection between the four Omaha-area hospitals, and connect them back to the primary Alegent Health data center, located at Immanuel Medical Center. To ensure no patient information is lost in the event of a service interruption, Qwest will provide a second connection between the four hospitals and a second Alegent Health data center for disaster recovery purposes.

The high-speed connection (which is capable of transmitting one thousand full-length novels in one second) and back-up system are necessary to support the high-tech healthcare system that will be created as a result of the strategic alliance Alegent Health and Siemens recently formed. Through the alliance, Alegent Health will move to a digital record-keeping system, where patients? current and historical healthcare information will be kept digitally.

Mary Lu Steube, operations director of data communications at Alegent Health said her organization is committed to providing a higher standard of care to the communities they serve. ?This upgrade of our metro-area backbone will help us live up to that commitment by allowing us to support the new high-tech medical applications with redundant, robust, and high-speed connectivity. It also will allow us to support the collaborative use of new, cutting-edge medical imaging technologies which require substantially more bandwidth that what was available on our old backbone," Steube said.

?A high-speed connection is an essential element for ensuring the reliability and security of the new digital record system and other applications that Alegent Health plans to roll out over the next year,? said Rob Elwood, Qwest?s Western region vice president of sales. ?Transferring x-rays, tests and images, and other important health-related information between hospitals and doctors requires a reliable, high-speed connection. Qwest is pleased to be able to provide Alegent Health with a network connection and back-up system the hospital and its patients can count on.?

With this contract, Qwest expanded its relationship with Alegent Health, to which Qwest already provides local voice services; frame relay services connecting Alegent Health?s smaller clinics across the Midwest; local area network (LAN) services connecting its mid-size facilities in the Omaha metro area; and private line services connecting its two main Nebraska hospitals.

For more information about Alegent Health, please visit

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Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leading provider of voice, video and data services to more than 25 million customers. The company?s 50,000-plus employees are committed to the ?Spirit of Service? and providing world-class services that exceed customers? expectations for quality, value and reliability. For more information, please visit the Qwest Web site at

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