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Advantages of Wireless Networks in a Hospital Jeffrey Rader ? When healthcare adapted to wireless networks, it provided so many efficient ways of promoting a greater care for the patient. Although having some drawbacks with the technology, which will be discussed later in this writing. The combination of wireless and healthcare can provide many advances and solve many issues that have plagued the field in the past. Effectiveness of wireless networks allows the nurse and doctor to send a prescription into a pharmacy and then able to receive the medication so the patient can acquire the treatment at a faster rate than normally done in the past.

This is also a plus, because the proper paperwork is completed electronically when the actual orders are made on the system from the patient’s bedside. In the medical environment, the computer system uses a timestamp after each process. This is important data to use in reporting for legal and training issues. Previously, the nurse or doctor would have to walk to different areas of the hospital to make the same steps over a period of a day; this would have resulted in hours of work that are now eliminated by the network.

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This in turn, gives a larger number of patients more coverage and a better outcome. Another example of effectiveness would be the nurse can now receive the results of a lab test by sending in a doctor’s order to run a study on the patient. As compared to the pharmacy, a lab result can be just as important with time because the correct or quick diagnosis to a sickness or ailment can prevent a lengthy stay for the patient involved. Getting the right results in the timely manner can also avert the spread of a virus or bacteria that could encompass more than one patient.

Most recently, such cases of H1N1 had a direct concern to the world and a more efficient process enabled the patient to get the right treatment and settle the spread of a disease. Most people would not think that something like the control of a disease would be affected by a computer network in the hospital. In many ways, you can look at this being a classic example of how improving technologies can prevent or help play a part in eliminating a pandemic. Another issue that has caused great concern in healthcare recently is performing the wrong treatment on a patient because of improper documentation or miscommunication.

In nearly all cases it is human error, but streamlining processes such as: bedside patient interviews and computer applications that won’t release a medicine cabinet without answering the proper questions is helping to eliminate this serious problem. Once these processes are implemented, it can only help to prevent a scenario of a patient receiving the wrong medicine or treatment. When a patient is in need of blood, improvements have been made to access via the wireless network a constant update of the hospitals supply and make orders to the blood bank when needed.

Instead of documenting the inventory and stepping through many processes to get the proper amount or type of blood, this has become another example of how a wireless network can help in improving the patient’s survival during an emergency. Another wireless technology that has improved circumstances for a hospital is the technology called RFID (Radio Frequency Identity). This provides the ability to track and locate the equipment or employee needed within the hospital or its campus at some moment in time.

A tag sensor can be installed on the equipment or an employee’s badge is used to supply a signal. This would provide the availability and location within the premises of the hospital. This would be an important way of locating lost equipment and when an employee is needed immediately. As a biomed, I can personally attest to the importance of locating the equipment, we as a department in biomed are responsible in performing preventive maintenance on specific medical equipment on a scheduled plan.

This plan is monitored and investigated by a committee in the hospital for us to provide the maintenance record. This committee is responsible for managing the performance results and relaying that information to Joint Commission, an agency that gives hospitals accreditation to receive funding from the government for revenue through Medicaid and Medicare. Some of this equipment is very expensive and losing or misplacing it can result in purchasing more. For example, buying just one Infusion pump can cost six to eight thousand dollars.

Multiplying that by a hundred infusion pumps than the expense is much greater. Inventory controls are of major importance for a hospital of any size to stay profitable or to maintain their level of service. Wireless communication within a hospital is becoming the technology of need. Although the PBX systems are still heavily used on the patient side, nursing departments and physicians are relying more and more on the cordless type of phone. Any employee that is usually on the move throughout their day is one that benefits, which explains why a doctor and nurse are in need of this technology.

A lot of the newer engineered nurse call systems have the capability to implement a wireless phone. An example would be if a nurse is busy with a patient in one room and another is in need of assistance with the same. The nurse then can let the patient know when they can assist or call for backup. It allows the hospital to manage their floors and departments better. This same type of system can also provide the RFID function discussed earlier, to help in determining the location of employees throughout the hospital campus.

A physician can be contacted much quicker with this type of system, which helps all employees and patients when needed. A code blue alarm can also be used in this type of scenario. The wireless topology (802. 11) has created many positive changes for the healthcare environment and has been looking for a network that can provide a mobile situation for its employees. Along with the phones, a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) or computer tablet are becoming commonplace in a hospital or clinic.

With these devices, the ability to download appointments, cases or patient information is helping to attain a higher level of efficiency. Another advance is the doctor signing off on a patient’s case with an electronic signature from the device; this also improves the process as compared to years ago. Although the wireless technology has brought the most beneficial and efficacious advances to the healthcare field most recently, there are still concerns with several deficiencies. Two of the greatest problems are pretty important; they are security and network bandwidth.

Security is the leader of the two, because the major impact it may have in legal issues. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is a federal law that protects the patient’s privacy and provides the standards for how the patient’s record is to be used for any purpose, including insurance policies and procedures. Over the last several years, this law has been the most influential change in healthcare. This law has made security on networks the most important issue to control

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