Wireless networks provider Xirrus has provided Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals in Surrey, UK, with a Wi-Fi system aimed at supporting a new cutting-edge informatics strategy. The deployment enables clinicians and staff to deliver a better experience to patients through the use of faster and always-on devices.
Together, Ashford (pictured) and St. Peter's Hospitals make up the largest acute care hospital provider in Surrey with an award-winning maternity unit. Head of Informatics Programme, Laura Ellis-Philip, said: ‘We want to stay ahead of the game in terms of technology, so having high performance wireless connectivity is a no-brainer – there is so much you can do with it. Improving patient experience is one of the Trust's key objectives and enabling staff to use mobile technology at the bedside is essential.
‘During the morning rounds, our doctors have workstations on wheels with connected laptops and the option to show patients X-rays, or order tests on the spot instead of waiting till the end of the ward round. Our patients get the tests quicker, get the results quicker, and can see the results on the screen, so that's been a real step forward for us.’
Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals have further plans to exploit the recently added wireless network. According to Ellis-Philip, the workstations on wheels was just a starting point; the Trust's entire executive team is now equipped with tablets, with electronic access to all their board papers. This means the executive team can confer in any meeting room on the premises and all their documents are available to them, securely, at the swipe of a finger. This solution will be rolled out to more of the Trust's committee members throughout the year.
In addition to the above, Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals are reviewing other ways in which to employ the technology to enhance working practices. Ellis-Philip explained: ‘We are looking at creating mobile versions of some existing applications in order to better embrace the BYOD opportunity. We know our staff have their own smartphones and tablets, so we want to find a way for them to use wireless technology to securely log on to these applications using their own devices.’