Most will ask, “What is a Spaghetti Incident?” and the answer is poor cabling practices, in that, it looks like someone just threw spaghetti in your ceilings and communication rooms. The pictures below are what I would consider a “Spaghetti Incident”. Poor cabling practices like these are a tripping hazard, not conducive to air flow for heat dissipation, inefficient when making changes/troubleshooting and susceptible to damage when others are working in these areas.

cable 1

Good, structured cabling practices include an organized plan with proper labeling, smooth cable flow (no kinks), retention, and physical cable support/management. Healthcare facilities are “living” entities, they are constantly changing, and installation/service personnel are constantly installing new or repairing equipment above ceilings and in communication rooms. The pictures below are good examples of structured cabling and represents how communication rooms and ceilings should look.

cable 2

The IMS service and installation teams follow recommended structured cabling guidelines when installing systems in healthcare facilities. This ensures that our equipment will have power and communication without interruption or require return visits to correct cabling issues. As part of the design for our systems we use all yellow jacketed cable with varying color stripes to identify the cable’s purpose which then also matches our color coded cable diagrams. We are very confident in our cabling practices so we have our name printed on our cable which helps identify our cable for any future changes/troubleshooting that may be required.

cable 3

Recently we were requested to evaluate a patient security system that was installed by another company and experiencing some technical and operational issues. We found several installation problems including devices installed above the ceiling with no back boxes or any type of structured cabling. It is important to include device back boxes with proper cable strain relief to protect cable and termination integrity. We are now working with the manufacturer and customer to correct these problems and bring the system up to IMS standards to ensure overall system reliability.

If you are in need of a Patient Security System or a Real Time Locating System and want to be assured that it is designed and installed with quality and integrity, contact IMS and we will walk you through our detailed design and implementation process.