Improving technology, faster wireless speeds, growing demands from doctors and patients, and requirements of the Affordable Care Act and other government regulations, have all led to greater acceptance and implementation of wireless technology by Oklahoma hospital administrators.
But, do Oklahoma hospital administrators really understand wireless?
Wireless Technology in Oklahoma
The state of Oklahoma, in general, is more tech savvy than many might expect. A 2010 AT&T study on wireless technology use by small businesses ranked Oklahoma second in the nation for tech savvy communities. While the study was for small businesses, this desire to implement and use wireless technology carries over to the medical industry as well.
In 1993, Oklahoma introduced telemedicine to its doctors and patients. In 1997, the Oklahoma legislature mandated that health providers and state-managed Medicaid and worker’s compensation programs include coverage for telemedicine.
Oklahoma State’s College of Medicine was the first medical school in the nation to require its graduates to have telemedicine training. Any non-profit hospital or health center in Oklahoma can have a dedicated line, or wireless service installed free of charge specifically for telemedicine.
Oklahoma’s medical community has been a leader in technological advances. There are a number of success stories concerning Oklahoma hospitals and wireless technology:
Wireless Implementation in Oklahoma Hospitals
- In 2009, Mercy Health Center in Oklahoma City was an early adopter of wireless technology by implementing a campus-wide wireless system to allow doctors, patients, and visitors to use voice and data applications, regardless of location. The implementation was complicated by the fact that tunnels interconnect many of the buildings, so a plan had to be devised that allowed reception there as well. Mercy found a vendor who performed a survey, took readings and measurements of the entire area. The vendor then presented a complete layout of the infrastructure which was successfully installed.
- The University of Oklahoma Center for the Study of Wireless Electromagnetic Compatibility notes that some hospitals still ban cellular usage due to concerns about interference with medical equipment. The Center has developed an evaluation tool using a software simulation program for hospitals to determine how to have medical equipment and wireless devices function without issues. The prototype was recently demonstrated in an international forum in Washington, D.C.
- Stilwell Memorial Hospital wanted to implement wireless to give doctors access to electronic medical records throughout the hospital. The issue was to find a cost-effective, highly reliable solution. The hospital went with a Cisco Meraki Cloud Managed Solution, with Oklahoma-based Emsco Solutions. Emsco Solutions did a thorough survey, ordered the equipment, and did the installation in two days. Doctors can order medications at the patient’s bedside, patients and visitors have free wireless access, and the medical staff can access medical records anywhere within the facility.
Oklahoma Hospital Administrators Do Understand Wireless
There are many more success stories like these that underscore the fact that, while there are problems faced by hospital administrators with implementing wireless technology, Oklahoma hospital administrators are taking on those challenges to help their hospitals meet the needs of doctors, patients, and visitors.
Has your Oklahoma hospital implemented a wireless technology solution? Share your thoughts in the Comments box below.
And to learn more about how a Cisco Meraki wireless solution is working for an Oklahoma hospital, be sure to download your free Oklahoma Hospital Administrators Wireless Networking Resource Kit.