By: Craig Badrick on November 3rd, 2016


4 Ways A Robust Wireless Networking Infrastructure Improves Patient Care

Wi-Fi  |  Wireless  |  Healthcare

Patients are more educated than ever before, and they have many more options for healthcare available to them. This puts a great deal of pressure on hospitals to stand out by increasing the quality of care they provide. That’s why healthcare IT is so important. From tablets and laptops to EMR systems, hospitals are constantly evolving their technology to maintain a competitive advantage.

With this proliferation of technology solutions to improve patient care, having a reliable and high-performing wireless networking infrastructure is a necessity. It is the foundation for enabling technology solutions to function properly and efficiently. This places a heavy responsibility on IT professionals to implement solutions that deliver.

Follow these four useful ways to improve the quality of care at your hospital through a more robust wireless network.   



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1. Strengthen Modes of Wireless Communication

“Healthcare delivery organizations are faced with growing technology demands in today’s connected healthcare environment, and many hospitals view wireless connectivity as critical to improving the overall patient experience, as well as enhancing hospital efficiency.” (Healthcare Informatics)

Unfortunately, many of the types of communication that physicians and nurses require are not connected. When you utilize your wireless networking infrastructure to boost communication between healthcare professionals (e.g., use of VoWiFi to tap into the hospital’s wireless network), you increase your opportunities for elevating the quality of care that patients receive. “On-site wireless communication reduces waiting time and speeds up response in critical situations.” (Ascom)

Of course, these capabilities may require you to upgrade your wireless network. It is imperative for the various modes of communication to be reliable, which means your wireless networking infrastructure must be solid. A network outage has the potential to bring your hospital operations to a grinding halt, and with patient care on the line, this outcome would be devastating. Preventing these types of situations starts with arming your IT approach with knowledge. Be sure to obtain your free copy of Healthcare IT Professionals: Is It Time To Invest In Better Wireless Networking?


2. Enable Secure, Real-Time Communication & Note-Taking

“Hospital IT professionals cite improving physicians’ access to information as the biggest benefit of using smartphones in the hospital, as well as enhancing communication, collaboration and care coordination.” (Healthcare Informatics)

The use of mobile devices is undoubtedly on the rise in today’s hospitals, as this technology fosters the kind of real-time communication and data logging that is necessary to provide quality patient care. Understand, however, that with this surge in mobile activity, it is critical to ensure a strong wireless networking infrastructure that fully supports the trend.

Even more important is data security. To protect patient information and stay in compliance with HIPAA requirements, your hospital’s wireless network must have the proper security features in place.


3. Make Information Access and Administrative Tasks More Efficient

Physicians and nurses have enough to focus on without spending an inordinate amount of time uploading and accessing patient information or carrying out administrative tasks. Fortunately, this time is greatly minimized with a superior wireless networking infrastructure.

“In connected hospitals, connecting medical devices to Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems has reduced the time it takes to enter vitals from 7-10 minutes to less than 1 minute per patient, Real-Time Locations Systems (RTLS) are now used to quickly find usable equipment for treatments, and advanced bed and fall monitors can monitor patient movements and alert staff as soon as there is an issue. All of these technologies are enabled by the underlying robustness of the wireless connection.” (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Fast load times and access to databases is essential when pulling patient history and keeping information organized. Improving quality of care by enabling quicker transfers of information has a great deal to do with implementing a strong wireless network.  


4. Fortify Security and Bandwidth Measures

According to a Health IT Security article, “Several recent large-scale health data breaches have affected over 5 million individuals, including patients, employees, and providers. Health data breach prevention requires a comprehensive approach. With more covered entities implementing connected devices, BYOD strategies, and working toward interoperability, there are more potential access points for attackers than ever before.

Does your hospital’s wireless networking infrastructure comply with best security practices -- including encryption and password measures -- to safeguard against data breaches and HIPAA violations? These precautions are absolutely necessary to ensure quality care and service within your hospital.

Keep in mind that these measures don’t apply solely to physician and staff access. A vital component of ensuring optimal bandwidth and meeting security standards is limiting guest access to the network. “It’s a good idea to restrict your guest network’s bandwidth, even as you expand the capabilities of your hospital’s main network. It’s also smart to forbid streaming on the guest network altogether to head off problems with excessive bandwidth use.” (Healthcare Business Tech)

Having management capabilities on the wireless network to not only identify what applications are being used, but having the ability to allow, deny or rate limit at the application level is critical maximizing the bandwidth available for mission critical applications.


Stay on the Leading Edge of Innovation

The healthcare landscape is constantly changing, as are innovations in healthcare IT. As these technologies evolve, so must your hospital -- and this means maintaining a healthy, scalable wireless networking infrastructure that facilitates improvements.

“The gained efficiencies resulting from a connected hospital are simply too beneficial to shy away from. Patient safety, data accuracy and mobility will all be fueled by wireless technology.” (Becker’s Hospital Review) In the end, it’s all about advancing your opportunities to deliver exceptional patient care.  

What other ways might a hospital’s robust wireless networking infrastructure improve patient care? Let us know your thoughts below, and get more information by accessing your free copy of Healthcare IT Professionals: Is It Time To Invest In Better Wireless Networking?

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