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WiFi: connecting patients and staff

WiFi: connecting patients and staff


GOALS:

  • Provide staff, patients and families with access to internet services
  • Improve clinical care by providing WiFi at the bedside
  • Support mobile technologies to work more effectively and efficiently

Why?

  • Patients and families tell us that they want to stay connected to work, family, social networks, information and entertainment
  • Health workers want to be able to access health information and clinical/other decision support tools at the point-of-care[1]
  • Many of our systems now require organisation-wide WiFi, eg temperature monitoring for medication fridges and electronic prescribing
  • WiFi allows us to provide health education and promotion messages and allows patients and families to give us feedback online

  1. Point-of-care refers to the delivery of healthcare to patients at the time of care such as at the patient’s bedside or at an outpatient clinic

What did we do?

  1. Wireless internet has been installed across our facilities at North Shore and Waitakere Hospitals, and Outpatient Clinics, Wilson Centre, Paramount Drive and Taharoto Road sites
  2. Patient and visitor WiFi access has been set-up at these facilities for one hour per day, with the ability to purchase additional hours at $5/day (unlimited access)
  3. Secured “Staff Wireless Access” network has been set up to provide WiFi access for Waitemata DHB staff

Did we make a difference?

  • Uptake of wireless internet has been excellent
  • Around 1,000 people per month are opting to pay beyond the initial one hour free WiFi per day
  • The money generated from people purchasing additional hours is used to provide patients who require regular long-term treatment (eg patients receiving dialysis treatment) with free vouchers

Where to from here?

WiFi is a critical enabler for the implementation of national priority projects such as:

  • electronic prescribing and administration 
  • patient portals/access to their health information
  • shared decision-making and planning via the Shared Care Plan platform
  • health risk assessments/updating smoking screening questions on all interactions with patients
  • electronic feedback

This project forms part of our overarching Leapfrog programme.

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