Wireless is no longer a novelty in hospitals

We've highlighted some of the "Most Wireless" hospitals among the annual Hospitals & Health Networks "Most Wired" list, but we were frustrated by our inability to find more than a few details about those that have seen the most success with wireless technology. We're still waiting for the actual Most Wireless list, but the August edition of the magazine sheds some more light on the matter.

Wireless is no mere novelty in hospitals anymore, as only 10 percent of the 556 organizations responding to the survey--representing 1,314 hospitals--do not provide any sort of wireless Internet access for patients, be it in the lobby, waiting rooms or in the patient rooms themselves. Still, 30 percent of the 100 "least wired" respondents don't offer wireless connectivity for patients, so there's definitely an adoption gap.

There do remain some holes in wireless infrastructure, as only 42 percent of the Most Wired operate "medical-grade" wireless networks, defined as having no more than 31 seconds of downtime per year. Some hospitals are counting on stimulus funding to help upgrade or expand their networks, though.

Nearly half of those surveyed run EMRs over their wireless networks, while physicians can review medical images from wireless devices at 45 percent of hospitals. One-third of the entire survey pool have wireless CPOE access, a figure that nearly doubles at the 100 Most Wired organizations.

To learn more:
- check out the Hospitals & Health Networks feature