Wi-Fi® in Healthcare: Improving the user experience for connected hospital applications and devices (2013)

Connecting medical devices to a hospital Wi-Fi® network can improve clinical workflows by providing wireless access to real-time patient data. When hospital applications rely on Wi-Fi connectivity, hospital staff must have confidence that all Wi-Fi connections are reliable and meet performance requirements dictated by the devices and applications used. To achieve these goals, hospital IT managers should use quality of experience (QoE) as a key performance metric when designing and managing their Wi‑Fi networks.

Delivering the best possible user experience requires several key elements, including:

  • Design and configuration of the Wi-Fi infrastructure to provide sufficient coverage and capacity for all devices;
  • Incorporation of quality of service (QoS) features such as Wi-Fi Multimedia™ (WMM®) to improve the efficiency of traffic transmission;
  • Ongoing management of Wi-Fi networks and devices, such as configuration management and change control processes, to flexibly adapt to changes in applications and devices used and to changes in environment.

This white paper discusses how hospital IT professionals can establish and maintain high QoE levels through network design, radio frequency (RF) design, infrastructure and client device configuration, and ongoing management. All of these recommendations are based on industry best practices and may be included as elements of a risk management plan as recommended by the International Engineering Consortium (IEC) 80001-1:2010 standard, “Application of risk management for IT-networks incorporating medical devices.”

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