Harbin Clinic will ceremonially launch new high-speed broadband capabilities with a Thursday ribbon-cutting at one of its satellites, Armuchee Family Practice, 5470 Martha Berry Highway.
The 11 a.m. gathering will celebrate Harbin’s upgraded fiber optic connections through the Appalachian Valley Fiber Network.
“Harbin operates in 17 locations,” said its CEO and president, Dr. Ken Davis. “One of our goals is to have the same high speed network access in all locations.”
AFVN is a public-private partnership backed by a $21 million federal stimulus package grant and a $6 million local match in the form of David Parker’s existing Parker Fiber-
Net system. Parker said the new network can carry heavy data loads at speeds rivaling those in any metropolitan area.
One benefit: immediate access to vital patient records.
Davis said physicians’ access to the data will play an increasing role in patient care and containing costs for years to come.
Data speed, capacity, dependability and security are all essential components in the development of Harbin’s pioneering electronic medical record system and imaging transport network, he added.
A primary goal of the AVFN partnership, Parker said, is to extend high-speed, high-capacity service to health care providers and other “community anchors” in rural parts of the region.
The complete fiber optic network will include more than 500 miles of infrastructure that will benefit medicine, education, government and business in Northwest Georgia and eastern Alabama.
Parker said the AVFN project was a collaborative success. Organizations involved in the plan and grant application include the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission, the Alabama Broadband Initiative, the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission and the governments of Floyd, Polk, Walker, Haralson, Paulding, Bartow, Gordon and Chattooga counties.
Multiple state agencies, development authorities within the region and the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute also contributed to the project.
Harbin Clinic is Georgia’s largest physician-owned multi-specialty clinic, with more than 220 providers in 17 locations throughout Northwest Georgia.