Royal Brompton & Harefield Trust uses Wi-Fi to mobilise patient services

The Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust has deployed an Alcatel-Lucent wireless local area network (Wlan) to help transform clinical care and enable total mobility of its patient services.

The Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust has deployed an Alcatel-Lucent wireless local area network (Wlan) to help transform clinical care and enable total mobility of its patient services.

Alcatel-Lucent's wireless network, which was installed by networking and security integrator Khipu Networks, gives Trust employees the ability to perform clinical procedures and access patient information anywhere in the Trust, which specialises in heart and lung treatment

The system also supports the organisation's goal of providing "paper-light" electronic access to all clinical, managerial and administrative records by 2010/2011.

Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust, which comprises two hospitals 20 miles apart at Chelsea and Uxbridge, London, will use the wireless network to deliver sensitive data that requires resilience, security and speed - such as x-ray images, patient monitoring information, pathology results and cardiovascular imaging.

It allows the staff, equipped with Tablet PCs, to record medical information direct from patients' wristbands or at their bedsides, and transmit it into a central database, crucial in ensuring fast and accurate patient identification and diagnosis.

"Hospitals operate in a totally mobile way. Clinicians, nurses and patients are continually on the move, and in order to deliver effective care, staff must be granted universal access to patient data," said Graham Everson, director of IT and telecommunications at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust.

"Wireless technology perfectly supports the core clinical functions of a hospital, and thus forms the bedrock of our IT strategy. Most importantly, it is an enabler - on top of it, you can build layers of device and functionality to make day to day operations more dynamic and flexible, reducing patient risk in the process," said Everson.

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