To WiFi, or Not To WiFi? - Cover

To WiFi, or Not To WiFi?

KLAS is very close to finishing a specialty report on Wireless Communications--our first in our exploration of hospital infrastructure. We’re rating WiFi mobile communication devices from Ascom, Cisco, Motorola, NEC, Nortel/Avaya, Polycom (Spectralink), and Vocera.  We’re also very interested in the overall performance of the networks themselves, trying to get a sense of which vendors provide the most reliable WiFi voice networks.

Some hospitals don’t see a tremendous need to go WiFi. But as I’ve spoken with numerous network and voice engineers about their wireless communications strategies, one thing is clear: many of them would like to eventually put their wireless mobile devices on a hospital-wide WiFi system, but they are very hesitant about who to go with--whether it be their current 900 MHz device vendor or someone else.  One network engineer at a mid-size hospital revealed that he is currently piloting three different WiFi mobile devices from three different vendors. We had a great conversation about his hospital’s needs and their WiFi strategy to meet those needs, but he is still completely unsure which device will best integrate with nurse call and their smart beds, as well as provide excellent voice and image transfers.  

I have yet to personally talk with a hospital that has hospital-wide WiFi devices, but I know you’re out there.  I’d love to know from all you providers: what’s your WiFi strategy? Who are you going with to meet those needs?