Connectivity tops list of wireless healthcare challenges

Even though wireless technology is meant to extend the reach of technology, physical connectivity remains a challenge when installing wireless systems in healthcare facilities, a newly published report suggests. According to the study, from HIMSS Analytics and Seattle-based NetMotion Wireless, coverage gaps still plague wireless networks. Older facilities suffer from signal loss on lower floors and in basements, while new, steel-encased buildings with glazed windows have been known to deflect cellular signals, the report says.

Technology connectivity remains a key issue as well, particularly in providing enough bandwidth and in working with applications that require a proprietary environment, the study suggests. Other concerns include meeting user demand that occasionally leads to individuals buying their own solutions that the IT department can't support; security issues such as network integrity and laptop theft; and problems with network management.

About one-third of U.S. hospitals use some form of wireless technology, HIMSS Analytics reports.

For more details on what senior IT executives think about wireless healthcare applications:
- read the HIMSS Analytics and NetMotion Wireless press release
- download the full white paper
- check out this Healthcare IT News story