VA will get Wi-Fi upgrade at all med facilities

The Department of Veterans Affairs just took another big step in its mobile journey. In what is being called one of the "world's largest wireless mobility infrastructure," the VA is upgrading the Wi-Fi networks at all 26 of its medical facilities nationwide.

VA officials just handed Harris Corp., a $19 million two-year contract to conduct the upgrade, the company announced last week. And it's no small job. Two months ago, VA CIO Roger Baker told FierceGovernmentIT that only one-third of the VA's large facilities have Wi-Fi providing connectivity to 99 percent of the entire campus.

The massive upgrade, which will support voice, video/telehealth functionality and radio-frequency identification (RFID) location systems, is needed to support the VA's continue mobile expansion, according to the announcement.

Remember, the VA just handed out 1,000 iPads to caregivers, to test whether off-site monitoring and communications would improve veterans' outcomes. If the test goes well, the VA plans to expand that program, and will need significantly more mobile resources to do it.

And you can bet the VA is feeling the pressure of the White House's recent admonition for federal agencies to boost their mobile initiatives. While the VA may be among the furthest ahead of federal agencies, in our view, the timeline in government seems to be accelerating.

To learn more:
- check out the Harris Corp. announcement