TWCBC Prescribes High Bandwidth Solution for Venice Family Clinic

August 2012

While the title of the 1973 hit song, “It Never Rains in Southern California,” implies nothing but blue skies in Los Angeles, careful listeners know that its message is actually “when it rains, it pours.”

And that was literally the case for Fred Hornbeck*, the Chief Information Officer for Venice Family Clinic, a non-profit organization that provides free health care to people in need in Los Angeles County. Because when it rained in Southern California, it literally unleashed a torrent of problems for the nine-site Clinic’s communications network.

“Basically, and this is no joke, every time it would rain our circuits would go down. That and slow speed made the service just impossible,” recalled Hornbeck, who at the time was using copper based T-1lines and phone circuits from two large telco providers. “It was frustrating. I asked several times to get us on a fiber network, but they told me they couldn’t.”

With Venice Family Clinic growing- it is the nation’s largest free clinic-and federal mandates associated with electronic health records (EHR) looming, Hornbeck knew he needed to find a more reliable network that would offer broader bandwidth and stability to meet the Clinic’s skyrocketing data and clinical needs.

That is when Time Warner Cable Business Class (TWCBC) entered the picture, offering a Metro Ethernet-based solution over the company’s fiber-rich network. The fact that TWCBC was willing to build out its network to two of the Clinic’s sites further convinced Hornbeck to switch providers.

“Time Warner Cable seemed to care about delivering a quality product with a great focus on customer service,” recalled Hornbeck. “They have really delivered.”

Now, Venice Family Clinic has a wide area network (WAN) featuring several point-to-point Metro Ethernet circuits currently running up to 20 Mbps, enabling Hornbeck and his IT team to enhance its ability to deliver lab results, medical records and other vital information much more efficiently and effectively. There are designs and plans to utilize circuits up to 1GB for intra-site real time data replication and disaster recovery. Further, the robust network has provided the stable ground required for the adoption of EHR across several of the Clinic’s sites. The fiber-based phone circuits from TWCBC have enabled the Clinic to better support its call center, which services on average 500 calls a day from patients, doctors and labs.

Actually, the term “Clinic” is misleading. Attending over 25,000 uninsured patients who make over 100,000 visits for primary care, specialty care, mental health, dental, and health education services annually, Venice Family Clinic is like any other multifaceted health system: it now relies on a stout network to ensure that health records and other clinical data are easily stored, transmitted, accessible and updated to maximize patient care at all sites.

“Thanks to TWCBC, our WAN runs more like a LAN (local area network),” explained Hornbeck. “We can even provide remote access for more of our software applications.”

Built on standardized, MEF-compliant Ethernet protocols, TWCBC’s Metro Ethernet solution provides scalable bandwidth speeds and secure point-to-point service. Venice Family Clinic benefits from flexible network configurations that provide ubiquitous connectivity over TWCBC’s wholly-owned and managed network.

Similarly, Business Class PRI (Primary Rate Interface) is an IP-enabled voice solution that allows the Clinic to obtain a highly reliable and cost-effective voice service - without having to invest in new equipment or switch to new telephone numbers.

Such efficiencies are welcome news to Hornbeck, as the Clinic relies on hundreds of volunteer doctors, nurses and support staff, and funding from local hospitals and numerous donors, to provide consistent high-quality service for its patients in Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista and Culver City.

“We can’t afford a productivity loss, which sometimes occurs with organizations that have limited funds,” noted Hornbeck. “With TWCBC, our network delivers cost-effective technology that is stable and reliable.”

Another important feature is TWCBC’s 24/7 customer support capabilities, which Hornbeck has found to be incredibly proactive. “If there is ever a network outage in our area, they tell me about it-even if it doesn’t affect me.”

Hornbeck, who serves on TWCBC’s Customer Advisory Board, appreciates the company’s willingness to solicit, listen to and implement suggestions from its customers. “They really treat us like we are partners,” he added.

And now, when it rains in Southern California, Hornbeck and his Venice Family Clinic IT department no longer need to worry about being flooded with complaints. Their network keeps working, rain or shine.

For more information about Metro Ethernet, Business Class PRI and other Time Warner Cable Business Class solutions, call 1-866-892-4249 or visit