30 October 2014 17:30


News
HANDI  | NHS Hack Day  | OpenGPSoC  | apps  | mobile  | wi-fi
Twitter RSS Newsletter Send to a friend
8

NHS Hack Day presses for free wi-fi

29 April 2013   Lis Evenstad

Two thirds of clinicians believe that having access to wi-fi would improve patient care, the first results of an ongoing nationwide survey on wi-fi in hospitals have suggested.

The NHS Hack Day community created the survey to find out how many clinicians have access to wi-fi, how many patients have access, and how this impacts patient care.

The survey is being run jointly by NHS Hackday, OpenGPSoC and HANDI. It was set up after discussions on the hack day’s Google group showed that most hospitals did not have free wi-fi access for clinicians and several complained that this was stifling app innovation.

Commenting on the Google group, Dr Marcus Baw, a locum GP who set up the survey, said that non-consultant doctors, who provide the majority of staffing in hospitals, are not given access to wi-fi.

“Oh yes there are networks, there's hardly a corridor in my hospital without a Cisco router nailed to the roof, but they seem to be for managerial types and possibly consultants. Not the likes of me,” he said.

The survey, which is the first step in a campaign towards free wi-fi for clinicians, will run until further notice.

So far, results from 538 respondents show that 149 have no wi-fi network whatsoever in their place of work. A further 125 have said that their organisation has a free wi-fi network, but they do not have access to it.

Only 127 have said that they have access to wi-fi in the clinical setting in which they work.

Another commenter on the Google group said a lack of wi-fi access was impacting on patient care.

“I would like free wi-fi in hospitals because it will enable me to connect my device to the internet efficiently and I will able to use a range of apps/websites etc that will help my clinical practice,” he said.

Malcolm Newbury, founder of Guildfoss Limited and hack day enthusiast said it was important to get wi-fi access in place, but also make sure it was secure.

“The discussion bounces around what the access should be for and goes down a lot of security and confidentiality rabbit holes. We decide to have a survey of what’s out there and what people want.”

Newbury said there had also been a lot of talk around the possibility of using Eduroam, which is used to provide internet access in universities across Europe and is currently being piloted in several local NHS organisations.

The roaming service currently does not work across the N3 Janet Gateway or the N3 internet Gateway, however, Eduroam has been proposed as a new theme for the second round it ITK projects.

‘Free wi-fi for patients’, is a similar campaign run by John Popham, an independent consultant on social media and new technologies.

His campaign has been running for nearly two years, and has borne some fruit. Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which previously offered a pay-for internet service to patients, recently announced that wi-fi would now be available free of charge.

Andy Blofield, director of Plymouth ICT Shared Services said: “For patients there is a great benefit to staying connected with friends and family and the world outside during what can be an anxious time in hospital.

“Staff have told us that free wifi would make a real difference and we felt it was important to listen to this request and deliver modern facilities in a modern hospital.”

 


Related Articles:

13 News: Funding needed for openGPSoC | 11 December 2012
5 Insight: The holly and free wi-fi | 20 December 2012
14 News: Open source GP project takes off | 18 October 2012
1 News: HANDI support for apps | 31 May 2012
6 News: Handover system wins NHS Hack Day | 28 May 2012
Last updated: 1 May 2013 11:44

© 2013 EHealth Media.


Follow

mike walton 13 weeks ago

wifi in GP surgeries? Available in waiting rooms? standardised launch-page and ability to update demographics, complete Friends-and-Family, etc etc. Fantastic. And just around the corner - thanks to EGTON wifi (dual router: N3 for NHS 'professional' wifi and ADSL For public-facing wifi). Hoping to pilot it in my CCG

Dr Mike Walton

GP Board Member and CCIO

Herts Valleys CCG


Reply
Flag
 
Like

This comment is:

Email address:

Submit

Follow

Post

 

mike walton
Expertise:
Clinician
Sector:
Public sector
Approved posts:
5
Likes:
0
My EHI score:
5
Reward badges:

The public do send you a check!

EPR Expert 78 weeks ago

You seem to forget, the public pay your wages. So, in fact, the do write you a check...every month.

Access for patients is important in this day of online patient support groups etc. As a clinician I regularly see patients arriving with reams of information about their condition. This is rarely discouraged by an open-minded society.

Why should they be subject to an information apartheid as soon as they enter a hospital? Come on, grasp the information revolution, and let you'll be surprised where it will take you!


Reply
Flag
 
Like

This comment is:

Email address:

Submit

Follow

Post

 

EPR Expert
Expertise:
Clinician
Sector:
Industry
Approved posts:
43
Likes:
1
My EHI score:
44
Reward badges:

Clinicians and WiFi

cjervis 78 weeks ago

To be honest, I am just happy that at last we have doctors and other clinicians keen on using IT. I think we should support this as far as we can. I don't know what has brought this on, Holby City or tablet computers, but it's great to have even more doctors keen on the possibilities of IT.

I agree about problems with interconnectivity and this stems from the lack of a clear operational model for future care--in which wirelessness will play a *big* part.


Reply
Flag
 
Like

This comment is:

Email address:

Submit

Follow

Post

 

cjervis
Expertise:
Consultant
Sector:
Public sector
Approved posts:
25
Likes:
0
My EHI score:
25
Reward badges:

Well there you go

AdeByrne 78 weeks ago

The public will be paying. Get the public to write me a cheque and I'd have no problem giving the access they need. I thought we were talking about staff, but fair enough.


Reply
Flag
 
Like

This comment is:

Email address:

Submit

Follow

Post

 

AdeByrne
Expertise:
IT professional
Sector:
Public sector
Approved posts:
137
Likes:
1
My EHI score:
138
Reward badges:

Power to the REAL users.

EPR Expert 78 weeks ago

As usual, this is a partial reflection on one of the pervading malaises within NHS IT.

Rather than working with their ultimate customers, understanding their needs, and delivering on their needs, NHS IT Managers are far more interested in meeting the needs of their 'masters' and their self-serving requirements.

While control and security is important, I have seen too many examples where it has stifled innovation by forward thinking users - clinicians.

It is the clinicians and patients who are the ultimate users.

I hope this era of change and the disastrous experience of the government's (top down) NPfIT will awaken the managers with the power (and money) to change course and release/support the potential within the user base. We live in hope!


Reply
Flag
 +4
Like

This comment is:

Email address:

Submit

Follow

Post

 

EPR Expert
Expertise:
Clinician
Sector:
Industry
Approved posts:
43
Likes:
1
My EHI score:
44
Reward badges:

This is not about free wifi ?

AdeByrne 78 weeks ago

Reading between the lines, this is about people/staff being able to connect their own device (iPad,phone or whatever) to the network. That is a completely different and more complex issue.


Reply
1 Reply
Flag
 
Like

This comment is:

Email address:

Submit

Follow

Post

 

AdeByrne
Expertise:
IT professional
Sector:
Public sector
Approved posts:
137
Likes:
1
My EHI score:
138
Reward badges:

Complex...

Steve Fuller 78 weeks ago

At the moment, but it needn't be.

Local councils offer customer wi-fi access on same infrastucture as internal users so why not the NHS? Certainly some sites will not be able to do anything due to stupidity of N3 model and the network bandwidth they are given, but acute Trusts should not be in this position. Who at the end of the day is paying? The public, so therefore give them access.


Reply
1 Reply
Flag
 +2
Like

This comment is:

Email address:

Submit

Follow

Post

 

Top 20
Steve Fuller
Expertise:
IT professional
Sector:
Public sector
Approved posts:
186
Likes:
0
My EHI score:
186
Reward badges:

...

AdeByrne 78 weeks ago

Steve, it all depends what you are trying to do of course.

The article was not about patient and relative access I don't think, but if we were to give that free access, we would have to consider:

- Bandwidth on the local infrastructure (WiFi) and the general internet traffic (the pipe). My hospital currently needs to do an upgrade of the core WiFi. I think we would have to consider a separate internet connection for this service because as you say, N3 is not specified for it. For all of that we are talking six figure sums plus annual five figure sums

- We could not allow this to go un-managed, and would have to put some kind of Firewall, blocking and monitoring software on there. This would consume expensive resource.

- Many of us will currently use proxy servers on the LAN, and this would be problematic in terms of some types of client. iPads are known to struggle with this type of thing. We would have to support it somehow. Once again expensive.

Staff access is a slightly different problem. I would agree there is no reason why by now all hospitals should not be giving access to WiFi to their hospital portable devices across the enterprise. Roll outs such as ePrescribing absolutely demand this. However, what people are normally talking about is their own personal device (their iPad or whatever) and this presents different problems:

- They probably want access to Local Area Network services and will need to log in for this. For that to happen, we need to be assured that they have the right level of protection (AV) etc. There will need to be some kind of remote device management such as Mobile Iron (other products are available!) to support this and protect any corporate data that finds its way onto the device

- Some of this will undoubtedly touch a Microsoft server environment and this requires licences for products that they use, even the email that they could access through the Internet via 3G or WiFi. The minimum this would cost is about £100 per device.

So it's all about priorities and these costs have to stack up against other priorities both within and outside IT.


Flag
 
Like

This comment is:

Email address:

Submit

Follow

Post

 

AdeByrne
Expertise:
IT professional
Sector:
Public sector
Approved posts:
137
Likes:
1
My EHI score:
138
Reward badges:
 
 
[1]

EHealth Media Limited
EHealth Insider is managed and maintained by EHealth Media © 2014
Registered Office: 11 Campana Road, London SW6 4AS
Registered No. 4214439 | Vat No. 774 4008 29
About us | Advertise | Terms and conditions | Privacy policy | Cookie policy | Contact us