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The Future of Hospital Wireless Networks and How to Get on Board

Written by Danny Mareco Danny Mareco | November 26, 2013

The next generation of wireless is here and gaining more momentum by the day!  The healthcare industry is quickly gaining similar speeds to this new technology when incorporating wireless into their hospitals for Real Time Location Services, hospital staff, and guests use.  So, what would this new technology bring if implemented in your current hospital wireless network and more importantly how should you begin the refresh? 

hospital wireless network

The largest and most significant difference this new technology is bringing to the table is faster speed.  In a world where response time is at the height of demand, it is nice to know there is a technology that is able to be deployed currently that can keep up with the modern day ultimatum.  Along with faster speed comes increased bandwidth because the faster the data is traveling the faster the next request can be queued up and responded to.    The current Access Point able to be deployed today can offer 3x the bandwidth (1.3Gbps) of the current 802.11n AP.

Along with the increased speed comes a significant expansion in client capacity due to the increased bandwidth the technology will bring.  Wireless clients are sharing the bandwidth on an AP, and the new technology offers more bandwidth to be distributed so the client count can be much higher on the AP itself.  The capacity on the 802.11n AP’s is 30-40 clients on average while the new technology can handle 90-100 clients.

802.11ac wifi

Location has always been the key when discussing accurately placing the AP’s to create a properly performing Wireless Network.  That golden rule does not change with the new technology.  However, the ac technology offers a larger range.  Don’t hear that the signal can then go further.  The new technology doesn’t mean you can get away with less placement of AP’s.  What it does mean is the throughput performance will be increasingly better with the new technology with studies showing the Mbps connection doubling when a device is the same distance from an 802.11 ac AP and an 802.11 n AP. 

So, what does this new technology mean to the refresh of your hospital wireless network?  Begin the discussion and determination of the scope of a refresh project by getting a Wireless Network Design completed.  This wireless network design should include:

site surveyA predictive site survey:  This survey should consist of a virtual survey of the entire site or facility after a complete wireless network analysis of the current environment has been finished.  Predictive wireless design tools are extremely effective and only on rare occasions would an onsite survey be required saving time and money.

An RF plan:  After the analysis and the site survey has been conducted a true Wireless Network Design will present an RF plan showing the predictive coverage for all the buildings with both the speed and anticipated connection included as well as a heat map showing signal to noise ratio.   role based access control

Role Based Security Design:  When discussing healthcare you have to take a look at security.  Make sure the Wireless Design being completed includes a mapped out way to support the different security roles you will place on certain devices and users and sets priority over certain roles throughout the network.

Timeline & Proper Bill of Materials:  The next step should include a bill of materials for the project, total project pricing and a timeline for execution.

The future is here and it is FAST. Make sure to get a proper Wireless Design Completed and get your refresh project ready. The time is NOW. We have helped hospitals all over the country. Contact us here for a free consultation with one of our mobility specialists. We are always happy to help!

hospital wireless network design, wireless technology in hospitals, hospital wlan design,

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