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Wireless Technologies Save Lives and Money for Healthcare Providers

By on July 7, 2016 in Featured, National Health News with 0 Comments

Doctors, nurses, security, maintenance workers, food staff and volunteers are all increasingly turning to two-way radios to keep in constant contact.  Photo:  Ed Lallo/Newsroom Ink

by Ed Lallo/Newsroom Ink

The 13-year-old boy watched frantically from the bank of the Colorado River as his dad struggled to free himself from the flood-swollen waters. Clutching his cell phone the boy dialed 9-1-1. When the dispatcher answered, she tried to get him to relay the location of the location of his party on the river, but the boy had no idea. Fortunately, he didn’t have to.

Communications Medic Wendy Hunt was able to determine the location of the cell phone using GPS technology. Within minutes STAR flight medic Rick Rutledge was lowered into the river on the end of a 100-foot rescue cable. Rutledge secured the victim who was immediately airlifted to a hospital.

“The application of wireless technology in the healthcare field can be dramatic,” said Dallas based BearCom Wireless Chief Marketing Officer Kent Huffman. “The impact behind the scenes can be just as important. Hospitals count on a variety of wireless technologies to make them more cost efficient.”

BearCom Wireless technician installs a Sony camera and Firetide’s multiservice mesh networking into a custom wireless surveillance unit for the Dallas Police Department. Photo:  Ed Lallo/Newsroom Ink

According to Mike Easley the CEO of Preferred Management, a management company overseeing hospitals in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri, “The impact of wireless technology extends far beyond its most obvious uses. Hospitals are increasingly making wireless technology ubiquitous in the workplace, experiencing cost efficiencies in everything from maintaining buildings and grounds to creating a more secure environment in the parking garage.”

Huffman agrees that wireless technology has a powerful influence with regard to the latter. He says, “BearCom has introduced solutions that have been embraced in other industries and are now highly compatible with the needs of health care systems.”

One example is BearCom’s video surveillance systems that combine the latest wireless technology to help personnel monitor activity in parking lots and garages any hour of the day. It utilizes Sony’s cameras, Firetide’s multi-service mesh networking and On-Net Surveillance System’s Intelligent IP-based video surveillance software. The company also offers wireless call boxes that can be deployed almost anywhere.

Inside the walls of the hospital, a survey by International Data Corp (IDC) found approximately 80% of healthcare organizations polled have deployed or will deploy wireless LAN’s.

LAN’s are crucial for hospitals, allowing them to access and update electronic medical records at patients’ bedsides and match bar-coded patient wristbands and medication packages. Photo:  Ed Lallo/Newsroom Ink

LAN’s are crucial for hospitals, allowing them to access and update electronic medical records at patients’ bedsides and match bar-coded patient wristbands and medication packages.

Such applications can ultimately reduce life-threatening mistakes.

“Hospitals and healthcare institutions must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA),” said Fletcher Brown a partner at the law firm of Davis & Wilkerson, which represents more than 50 hospitals. “Fortunately, high-technology companies are becoming increasingly responsive to the concern.”

A study by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society found that 79% of healthcare executives that responded said they plan to use wireless equipment information system in their institutions.

“Doctors, nurses, security, maintenance workers, food staff and volunteers are all increasingly turning to two-way radios made by Motorola Solutions, Icom and Vertex,” said Huffman. “No longer do healthcare workers have to run around a hospital searching for answers. Wireless technology has put them in constant contact with each other at the touch of a button.”

Hospital workers from doctors to maintenance, now are able to stay in constant contact through the use of wireless communication devices.  Photo: Ed Lallo/Newsroom Ink

The use of wireless technology can lead to cost savings and better healthcare.

A survey published by the California Healthcare Foundation found that wireless devices and networks are becoming more versatile and capable of offering expanded opportunities to link patients to the healthcare system.

Remote monitoring, particularly of patients with chronic conditions or recovering from major procedures, enables providers to rapidly identify signs of abnormal function and provide timely intervention to avoid larger problems.

Wireless devices also help qualified medical care reach underserved pockets, helping the poor and indigent.

The high cost inherent to the current healthcare system is related to the proximity of patient and provider, as well as archaic administrative systems used to manage records and exchange information. Wireless telecommunications can bridge these proximity gaps as well as provide a normalized set of baseline data that can remain secure, yet shared among healthcare workers.

When transferring accurate patient information and stats, the use of noise-cancelling headsets, such as those made by Peltor, is a necessity for life-fight helicopter landings.  Photo:  Ed Lallo/Newsroom Ink


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