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The Importance of End-User Network Connectivity in Healthcare

As the healthcare industry becomes more reliant on the Internet of Things to keep devices communicating, monitoring end-user connectivity will increase in importance.

We're becoming increasingly reliant on online connectivity throughout all industries. But perhaps nowhere is it more vital than in healthcare.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is everywhere in medical settings. Things like treatment information, patient records, and an incredible range of instruments rely on secure data transfer between devices, allowing healthcare professionals to assess and monitor patients and provide the interventions they require.

When there's a connectivity issue, the end-user might be unable to send or access this information, causing severe problems for providers and, potentially, patients. In other cases, the data might be slow to arrive.

Here's some information on why end-user network connectivity is critical in the healthcare industry and what can be done to keep devices online.

Sharing patient information

Quickly sharing patient information is crucial in a healthcare setting because it ensures that individuals receive immediate treatment across various specialties, providers, and facilities.

Sharing data throughout the network allows multiple departments within a facility to collaborate without worrying about critical details slipping through the cracks. The necessary applications and data are available in real-time, giving doctors and nurses unparalleled access to vital information.

When the end-user cannot send or access this data due to network connectivity issues, it slows the entire process down and could put individuals in danger. Having a secure data exchange is also vital. A connection must comply with the HIPAA Security Rule.

Keeping biomedical devices connected

In addition to communication between hospital staff, many medical devices now use Wi-Fi networks to transmit information to essential systems. Medical monitors and telemetry alarms, for example, connect to the network to ensure that the right people receive an alert if there's an emergency.

CPAP machines, pulse monitors, blood pressure monitors, and a gamut of other equipment fall into this category, enabling healthcare professionals to supervise them remotely. X-rays and other diagnostic images are also transferred between departments and facilities through wireless networks. Fast data transfer of these crucial scans also means better patient outcomes.

Increasing patient satisfaction

It's a little further down the list of essentials, but guest connectivity can increase patient satisfaction in a healthcare environment. And given that funding may be tied to patient satisfaction scores, this is an important consideration.

Patients will want Wi-Fi access as they wait for treatment at a hospital or clinic. Visiting a facility can create anxiety, and mobile access can have a calming effect. Providing Wi-Fi access to patients and their families boosts the facility’s image, and happy patients are more likely to return for care.

Consequently, maintaining a network that can handle a high amount of diverse guest traffic is also a priority.

Monitoring other devices

While the medical equipment on a network is the most critical thing to monitor, many other building devices also rely on connectivity. These items include HVAC systems, uninterruptible power supplies, intercoms, communication devices, and e-mail servers.

Many of these devices rely on an internet connection to inform the right people when a problem arises, and if the connection is dropping, it could take longer to have them serviced. Even contractors working in a building will benefit from having access to a stable network. Connectivity can help them finish their jobs on time, keeping the facility on track.

How 7SIGNAL can help

The Wi-Fi network within a medical facility drives better patient outcomes, keeps essential systems running, and improves satisfaction. This is why it’s critical to monitor and test the network to achieve consistent connections and performance and optimize the digital experience for everyone who sets foot in a clinic or hospital.

7SIGNAL’s Sapphire Eye® is a Wi-Fi sensor and software client that actively monitors connectivity, allowing IT staff to troubleshoot in real-time and often before the end-user notices a problem. And our Mobile Eye® can be installed on a range of mobile devices to assess performance and user experience—and quickly intervene when there’s an issue. Contact us to learn more.

7SIGNAL® is a leader in enterprise wireless experience monitoring. 7SIGNAL provides a cloud-based platform that continuously monitors wireless networks and identifies elusive performance issues impacting application performance and digital experience. By taking the “outside-in” approach to monitoring, 7SIGNAL has visibility into the edge of any enterprise or home Wi-Fi network where complex device interaction exists, and user experience matters most. The platform maximizes employee productivity, operational efficiency, and network ROI. Sapphire Eye® and Mobile Eye® are designed for and deployed at the world’s most innovative organizations, educational institutions, healthcare systems, and government agencies. Learn more at www.7signal.com.