If it can be wireless, it is at U of Michigan Health System

The University of Michigan Health System, one of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine's "Most Wireless" organizations for 2008, has built a network around the idea that clinicians in an academic environment move frequently between inpatient, ambulatory and research environments, and thus demand rapid, reliable and secure access to information in multiple settings. Wireless infrastructure helps to meet the need.

"We are converging on the network to bring in medical equipment, building management systems, biomedical equipment, event management and telecommunications," CIO Jocelyn DeWitt says in a recently posted HHN podcast. "The strategic plan around that is converging all of those uses on our single network."

Any application that can go on a wireless network will go there, DeWitt adds. Among these are CPOE, results reporting and a PACS viewer so clinicians can access these systems as conveniently as possible. "We support the wireless applications most needed by the clinicians to provide quality patient care and safe patient care and to support efficient workflow for them," DeWitt says. "We actually assume wireless for any of our applications that we bring up."

The university also has created a wireless network for "guest access" within health facilities. It's completely separate from clinical applications so it doesn't interfere with patient care.

For further details about Michigan's IT strategy, both wireless and wired:
- listen to the 8-minute, 43-second podcast