Essentia Healthcare Finds Life “a lot easier” with Wireless Synchronized Time


The Essentia Healthcare campus in Duluth, MN employs 6,500 people in a total of two million square feet. It’s not surprising that the five main buildings are connected with skyways to protect patients and staff from the harsh Minnesota winters and the lake-effect snow that blows in from Lake Superior.


Billing inaccuracies and repair time/cost for the current clock systems were the main drivers for the healthcare campus to search for a new clock system. Specifically, the director of the OR in the Miller-Dwan building sought to recoup thousands of dollars lost in billing inaccuracy. For instance, inconsistent records of when a patient leaves or arrives in areas of the building can cause confusion or payment refusals by the insurance company.


The Miller-Dwan building was the ideal candidate for a SiteSync IQ® wireless clock system due to the age of its Simplex wired clock system. SiteSync IQ seamlessly integrates new wireless clocks with existing wired system clocks. Miller-Dwan installed 35 wireless clocks in the operating rooms and another 85 clocks throughout the building.


“The guys in maintenance were practically doing backflips knowing they would have accurate clocks. They used to manually advance the clocks through the old Simplex master clock and then walk the entire building to double-check for accuracy. Now, after daylight saving time change, we can come in the next day and count on the fact that the clocks don’t skip a beat. Before the upgrade, we spent at least $10,000 on clock maintenance, labor, and repair every year. Without even including the billing accuracy piece, our wireless clock system easily paid for itself within the first two years,” said the maintenance manager, Terry Anding.

Every American Time clock is accurate and synchronized to within 1/10th of a second throughout each building and across the campus. “Once the word gets out about our accurate clocks, our colleagues want synchronized time, too. The Polinsky building next door provides physical therapy and operational therapy, so accurate time is extremely important to them, too. Since our signal works just fine over there, the manager of the building calls when she needs more clocks and I order them out of her operational budget. We do everything we possibly can to be fiscally responsible, accurate and efficient,” explained Anding.

The Medical Center expected to save $15,000 on clock maintenance, labor, and repair in the first full year after the wireless system upgrade. According to Anding, “the wireless clock system from American Time has made life a lot easier for us and our users because the clocks take care of themselves.”