Secure access to wireless networking services overcomes the difficulties of challenging mobile phone coverage
When Dorset HealthCare took the significant step forward in Digital by Default with the implementation of electronic patient records, making a comprehensive picture of care available across the Trusts 14 community hospitals, nine minor injury units and 568 GPs, it was recognised full benefits to patients and staff could not be realised due to the challenging mobile phone coverage.
The Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) launched a competitive tender for a comprehensive, patient-centric count-wide Wi Fi solution that had to ensure that all agencies within the Dorset Health Economy could access the Wi Fi, including 3rd sector.
Healthcare Computing, in partnership with Dorset CCG, delivered a wireless solution for the entire Dorset health economy, with access for the CCG, practice staff and community staff from Dorset HealthCare. It provides convenient secure access to wireless networking services for use within the practices including; service for laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices and allows the significant number of highly mobile community staff, with more than 3,000 devices, to access clinical systems, seamlessly roaming across at least 130 locations across Dorset.
Prior to this project, staff at Dorset CCG and Dorset HealthCare had restricted access to their systems from fixed PCs or intermittent mobile coverage, particularly in the west of the county. Staff found they were spending more time logging in than actually using the system, and had to rely on taking notes when they were working in different locations and then having to input all of this information into the patient records within their clinical system at a later time when back at their base.
This situation was wasting both time and money, and with the risk of missing information or data being lost, as this was not being updated in real time. The delay in inputting the information in real time also reduced opportunities for hospital avoidance through interactions between District Nursing and Intermediate Care teams and patients who are deteriorating rapidly.
Using the Wi Fi as a foundation, and the opportunities it provides for joint agency working, is saving time and costs for Dorset HealthCare as community staff do not need to travel back to their base to update the records.