Can Hospitals Do More with Wi-Fi?

Written by: Paul Sweeney | March 27, 2018

Healthcare providers are under increasing pressure to provide Wi-Fi for service users. In fact, there is a government directive for the NHS to have Wi-Fi in operation by the end of 2018.

Patients expect Wi-Fi connectivity both for entertainment during their stay and to be able to keep in touch with friends and family.

But, what if your Wi-Fi provision could do more than that? What if your Wi-Fi provision could increase operational efficiency and improve health outcomes for patients? Can hospitals do more with Wi-Fi?

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As more and more devices and vital systems rely on wireless networks, having a fast and secure network supporting your service is life-critical.

To illustrate how Wi-Fi can be used, let’s imagine the patient journey of a lady called Sandra arriving at a hospital.

Easy onboarding

When Sandra arrives at the hospital, she can connect to your Wi-Fi network easily on both her mobile and her tablet.

An app on her phone provides her with interactive wayfinding, meaning she can follow the map to get to the right department on time.

Once she arrives, online registration is automated. Again, no hassle, no queueing – all the more important when you’re unwell.

Electronic patient records

No longer will Sandra have to carry around paper notes from department to department, or her doctors have to rifle through handwritten notes at the foot of the bed.

With electronic patient records, healthcare is more efficient and safer for patients. When Sandra is settled on the ward, the doctor can view her X-ray images at her bedside on their tablet. This reduces the administrative burden and, most importantly, delivers better health outcomes with all pertinent information easily accessible when making clinical decisions.

Furthermore, health professionals are able to view and update patient records on mobile devices while on ward rounds, for example. This will reduce paperwork and minimise the likelihood of important information going astray or being recorded inaccurately.

A connected facility

Sandra can be comfortable in the knowledge that everything is running smoothly in a connected facility.

With telemetry, the measurements from Sandra’s monitoring equipment are collected and monitored remotely. Real-time location services and IoT devices enable tracking of equipment (pumps etc.) so nothing goes missing and all necessary equipment is to hand.

Staff are always contactable with voice over IP on their wireless handsets. Furthermore, patient movement tracking means that if Sandra decides to leave when she shouldn’t, gets in trouble, or has a fall, the system is alerted.

As more and more life-saving devices are dependent on continuous coverage, having a network you can trust is critical.

Improved patient comfort

With mobile Wi-Fi, Sandra can keep herself entertained while waiting as well as keeping friends and family updated. For long hospital stays, fast and reliable internet access is a must to enable patients to keep in touch with friends and relatives and entertain themselves with films and games.

As Sandra is happy and connected, she can relax and focus on getting better.

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