There’s a misconception that WiFi in hospitals is bad, unreliable and there’s not much you can do about it to make it better. We couldn’t disagree more. With the right infrastructure, hospital WiFi reduces running costs, improves patient happiness and makes it easier for hospital staff to carry out their tasks.
Here’s why WiFi for hospital patients is so important.
Bad Hospital WiFi
We’ve all had to deal with poor WiFi at one time or another. Whether your bad experience is caused by poor internet speeds or charges, it’s an added frustration to what can already be a stressful time in our lives.
If the WiFi isn’t up to scratch or is missing entirely, then patients are expected to just use the normal 4G service on their phones. But this can be expensive for those with limited data and hospitals are notoriously bad for reception.
There’s always going to be a high volume of visitors, patients and staff in a hospital at any given moment and with so many devices trying to get online and outdated infrastructure, it makes it harder to enjoy a stable connection.
WiFi has many benefits for hospitals, nursing homes and hospices, but only when the right infrastructure is in place to ensure all users receive the right quality of service.
The Importance of WiFi for Patients
Access to Entertainment and the Outside World
Boredom is a problem for most patients. It can be because of long appointment waiting times or full days of nothing where patients struggle and feel isolated from their normal daily life. WiFi gives patients access to social media and video streaming on their personal devices, giving them a perfect distraction while they wait or kill time.
Hospital patient entertainment systems can use the WiFi to provide patients with access to live television, on-demand videos and even educational content that can be tailored to suit their specific medical requirements.
Even short stays in hospitals can be difficult for some patients, especially if their friends or family are unable to visit them. WiFi gives them access to social media and messaging apps so they can stay in contact with what’s happening back home.
This is only a small feature for some, but for others, it can make all the difference and keep up their morale while they receive treatment.
Improved morale leads to happier patients and the happier they are, the easier they are to look after. Frustrated, bored or unhappy patients can cause problems for staff at hospitals, care homes and hospices. Access to entertainment and social media for patients can reduce tensions and make the staff’s life easier.
Improved Care from Hospital Staff
It’s no secret that NHS staff are stretched thin at times which can lead to delays in patients receiving care. WiFi can streamline many of the staff’s tasks, giving them more time to spend with each patient which reduces wait times.
WiFi can be used by staff to quickly and easily access patient information and medical history. Staff wouldn’t need to waste time finding the data they need and patients wouldn’t have to ask to see it.
It would make consultations with doctors simple and easy as they could bring up the relevant information to make explanations easy to understand.
Wastage caused by meal ordering issues would be a thing of the past if hospitals implemented WiFi and had an effective system. In the past, orders would be taken 24 hours in advance with a manual meal card that patients would have had to fill out. But in that time, a patient might have moved beds, been discharged or just simply changed their mind on what they wanted to eat.
With a new system, the orders could be taken online and significantly less food would be wasted.
And that's just one resource that could be better managed via the WiFi. Time is another.
For example, patients can submit service requests (such as asking for a glass of water or extra blanket) without needing to ask the wrong members of staff and interrupt them from their tasks. These requests can be made via digital means and forwarded to appropriate members of the team to pick up.
Access to Data and Feedback Which Improves Services
Surveys can be sent via the WiFi to ask patients about the experience they’ve had while staying at the hospital. This gives the NHS insight into what they’re doing well and what could be improved.
Ultimately, it’s a way of improving services for everyone.
Data from a patient’s time in hospital can be anonymously collated and examined for a hospital to analyse. They can use this information to again improve services and patient satisfaction levels.
The Future of Patient Entertainment
To see how your hospital, nursing home or hospice can benefit from WiFi and patient entertainment systems, download our SPARK® Media brochure. It’s packed with the features of the system and it outlines the substantial savings that you’d stand to benefit from.
Download it now using the link below.