Wireless Networking in a Hospital

1438 Words6 Pages

The breakthrough of wireless technology has introduced new possibilities for healthcare. These wireless networks allow connection and control between computers, handheld devices, printers, scanners, and other peripherals without the hassle of cords and cables. They provide crucial mobility that is necessary in the modern hospital. In areas of constant activity, such as the ER, the ICU, and the surgical recovery room, immediate information such as a patients test results would be beneficial to nurses and other healthcare providers. One could login to a secure network to retrieve patient records, view x-rays and lab tests, look up information on the internet, order treatments, and consult with specialists from just about anywhere. However, in hospitals with a hard wired network this information is not readily available throughout the hospital and cables can get in the way. With a growing technology, deciding which type of wireless network to implement can be difficult. Therefore, it is my role to evaluate different wireless networking devices and select the best device for the hospital.

Out of the many choices of wireless networks Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) were the two networks evaluated, chosen because of increasing popularity and availability. Within the classification of Wi-Fi networks three IEEE standards were compared, the 802.11b, the 802.11g, and the 802.11a. Each option was compared on the criteria of speed, security, range, cost, and application. I recommend the use of the IEEE 802.11g standard for wireless connectivity. The 802.11g standard provides backward compatibility, it is compatible with earlier versions such as the popular 802.11b devices, it runs twice as fast as the 802.11b,...

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...e summarizes the wireless networking solutions considered for the use in a hospital. Evaluating the networks based on the listed criteria, the best solution for the hospital is the IEEE 802.11g Wi-Fi ready standard. Bluetooth enabled devices are not suitable choices for trying to create a network throughout a hospital. However, these devices could be used beneficially in areas such as in small home care facilities, or a sensor reading being sent to a processing unit. This 802.11g standard is the most practical and beneficial choice. It is relatively inexpensive and compatible with other IEEE standards. The speed of the 802.11g will be useful in daily activities such as retrieving patient records when needed from anywhere in the hospital from a secure network. And finally, its long range will cut down on the need for access points, which will in turn cut down on costs.
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