This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Delivering wireless effi ciency in the NHS

Appropriate use of wireless technology can help health service providers to enhance patient care while reducing their paperwork burden and saving time

If you consider the size of the hospital and

the number of nurses, this time-saving equates to many thousands of nurse-hours per year which, in return, easily justifi es the cost of de- ploying the wireless network. Further, by fulfi lling the prescription and da-

A study at this Liverpool hospital revealed that time savings averaging 64 minutes per nursing shift were being achieved through the use of wireless technology

right infrastructure can be put in place. As Wi- Fi deployments across hospitals in the UK ena- ble doctors and clinicians to use mobile devices to improve patient care, save time and improve effi ciencies, wireless technology is transforming the way in which hospitals operate. A case in point is a wireless network Xirrus


completed at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foun- dation Trust in Liverpool. After completion, the hospital performed a ‘time and motion’ study and found that they were saving an aver- age of 64 minutes per nurse, per shift, by using wireless-based bedside prescribing and record- keeping. T e wireless network saves the nurses from having to walk back and forth between the patient and the central nurse station to in- put the patient and prescription details.

About the author

Ben Wilson is principal technologist with Xirrus, a leading provider of high- performance networks


ith the NHS constantly being forced to drive down costs, tech- nology can be a great enabler if the

ta-input at the bedside, it signifi cantly reduces the risk of mistakes that could happen if a nurse is interrupted between prescribing a drug to a patient and inputting the details into the pa- tient records at a central nurse station.

New applications Across various wards throughout NHS hospi- tals in the UK, wireless technology is enabling new applications such as electronic prescrip- tions, where nurses and staff members make use of ‘single user sign-on’ schemes which have been shown to improve staff effi ciency. A host of applications such as RFID tagging and voice- over-Wi-Fi are designed to improve patient care and effi ciency of the hospital’s services. Use of RFID technology is also increasingly

being used for equipment tracing. But Alder Hey, for example, has taken it one step further and is using RFID wristbands to protect new- born babies. If a baby is removed from a ward without authorization, not only can the baby’s whereabouts be tracked using the wireless net- work, but also, since the network is connected to the hospital’s physical access system, a secu- rity alert is raised. As a result, doors will auto- matically seal so that the baby cannot be taken out of the hospital. Another example of how a wireless network

can transform a hospital’s IT infrastructure is the volume of ultrasound images being trans- ferred by hospital staff via the WLAN in real time. If hospitals deploy an 802.11n Wi-Fi network, with 11n clients, they could benefi t from unparalleled speed and performance and can transfer data with speeds up to 300 Mbit/s – which is much faster than the older 802.11a/b/g wireless networks of 54 Mbit/s. If you consider that an average of 90 000 scans per month are carried out in a typical neonatal

ward, this equates to signifi cant time savings. One of the largest advantages of a high-speed

network is in sending large video fi les, which are bandwidth-hungry. T ese could take min- utes longer if they were to be sent over a wired connection.

RFID tagging of newborn babies is one of a host of applications which have revolutionized patient care at Alder Hey

Cost per drop T e combined cost of a network port and cable run in the NHS is currently around £1000 per drop. IT decision-makers across NHS hospitals are recognizing that, by deploying a wireless network, an initial cost investment is required, but it demonstrates long-term savings. It can be justifi ed by using the wireless network as the primary network, instead of an old wired net- work. T is will not only future-proof the facil- ity, but will in fact also result in large cost sav- ings, especially in cable runs and switch ports. If we refer to Alder Hey again, they were also saving 66 751 kWh of power per year. To conclude, wireless technology can help

NHS trusts across the UK to fulfi l their strategy of improving levels of patient care, reducing pa- perwork, and saving time. By deploying state-of-the-art wireless net-

works, hospitals can reduce costs without com- promising on service, resilience or security.

LAND mobile November 2011

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36