Skip to content Skip to navigation

Survey: How Hospitals are Meeting the Demand for Wireless Networking

June 9, 2016
by Heather Landi
| Reprints
Click To View Gallery

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.

According to a survey of 100 healthcare IT professionals conducted by Extreme Networks, hospital are leveraging wireless for many purposes, but the majority (77 percent) are using Wi-Fi for guest access as well as for clinical communications (66 percent). The survey findings also show that hospitals are using wireless for medical devices (52 percent), medical records (55 percent) and other purposes (14 percent).

Extreme Networks conducted the survey to gauge the status and trends of hospital Wi-Fi use in 2016.

Hospital IT professionals cited a number of concerns and challenges as it relates to the use of wireless in hospitals, such as security/compliance (34 percent), performance (28 percent), critical availability (19 percent) and coverage (14 percent).

The survey also found an overall trend of hospitals offering free Wi-Fi access to patients and guests, as 85 percent of hospital do this, compared with only 5 percent offering paid access. Additionally, 37 percent of hospital IT professionals said their hospitals have already implemented patient apps, with 16 percent of respondents saying that their hospitals were planning to develop patient apps and 22 percent considering implementing apps.

About two-thirds of hospitals connect medical devices using wireless networks and less than half (42 percent) use network access control (NAC) to isolate and monitor medical devices by manufacturer and type.

Hospital IT professionals cite improving physicians’ access to information as the biggest benefit of using smart phones in the hospital, as well as enhancing communication, collaboration and care coordination. Those benefits were cited by 50 percent and 40 percent of respondents, respectively. And, 7 percent of respondents cited streamlining interdisciplinary workflow processes as a benefit to using smart phones.

“Based on the collected survey data, we may conclude that wireless in hospitals is primarily being used for clinical applications and guest access, but this is expected to change. One of the most noticeable ways that hospitals have begun leveraging wireless in the workplace is through the use of mobile devices to replace paper records and legacy communications. These technological advances can help improve clinical workflow, allowing staff to operate as a more effective team for patient care,” the survey authors wrote, according to an Extreme Networks press release.



ONC National Coordinator Gets Live Look at Carequality Data Exchange

Officials from Carequality have stated that there are now more than 150,000 clinicians across 11,000 clinics and 500 hospitals live on its network. These participants are also able to share health data records with one another, regardless of technology vendor.

American Red Cross, Teladoc to Provide Telehealth Services to Disaster Victims

The American Red Cross announced a partnership with Teladoc to deliver remote medical care to communities in the United States that are significantly affected by disasters.

Report: The Business of Cybercrime in Healthcare is Growing

While stolen financial data still has a higher market value than stolen medical records, as financial data can be monetized faster, there are indications that there is ongoing development of a market for stolen medical data, according to an Intel Security McAfee Labs report.

Phishing Attack at Baystate Health Potentially Exposes Data of 13K Patients

A phishing scam at Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass. has potentially exposed the personal data of 13,000 patients, according to a privacy statement from the patient care organization and a report from MassLive.

New Use Cases Driving Growth in Health Data Exchange through Direct

In an update, DirectTrust reported significant growth in Direct exchange of health information and the number of trusted Direct addressed enabled to share personal health information (PHI) in the third quarter of 2016.

Insurers to CBO: Consider Private Insurers’ Data in Evaluations of Telemedicine

Eleven private insurers, including Aetna, Humana and Anthem, are urging the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to consider the experience of commercial insurers when evaluating the impact of telemedicine coverage in Medicare.