Toronto hospitals become first in Canada to adopt mobile-first infrastructure

Doctor using a digital tablet PC.

As demand for connectivity expands across all industries, two Toronto hospitals have made infrastructure changes in preparation for future technologies and the rising number of mobile devices.

Scarborough and Rouge Hospital, which operate two buildings under the same corporation, have become the first hospitals in Canada to implement a complete Wave 2 wireless network to improve employee productivity, safety and patient outcomes.

Wave 2, a solution by Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.-owned Aruba Networks, is a mobile-first platform that boosts network efficiency and supports the growing device density demands on the hospitals’ networks.

Hospitals are experiencing a growing requirement for mobility, and this is the first step to meeting both current and future needs, a Mar. 28 Aruba press release says.

Gary Lam, manager of technical services for Scarborough and Rouge Hospital’s Birchmount and General sites, explains that the hospitals’ previous wireless networks were limited when it came to delivering speeds required to efficiently use newer medical equipment, such as ultrasound devices for sending images, IV pumps for infusion data, and even clocks for time updates.

“With the assumption that we’ll connect even more devices in the future, and an expectation of our patients and physician groups that they can use the latest laptops, smartphones, and tablets, we needed to put in place a network that could handle the speed and density to accommodate all of these,” he adds.

The Toronto hospitals’ hope the new faster network will provide high performance wireless access from anywhere in the hospital, allow mobile workstations to be used at bedsides, and make it easier to input information.

Aruba’s solution was chosen as part of an opening bidding process conducted in partnership with Canadian telecommunications giant Telus, because it is a technology leader, Lam says.

It comes with Aruba 320 series 802.11ac access points, as well as Aruba’s mobility controllers and AirWave network management for more integrated security. With this as a foundation, “Scarborough and Rouge Hospital can now look to add applications that will further empower its staff and improve patient satisfaction and outcomes,” the release says.

Going forward, the hospitals hope to implement wayfinding to allow staff, patients, and visitors to navigate hospital facilities, patient kiosks, and asset tracking for wheelchairs, infusion pumps, and other medical equipment.

“When we undertook this network overhaul, we wanted to be sure that whatever we deployed would not need to be ripped out and replaced in a few years,” Lam adds. “Basically, we needed to prepare for anything the industry could throw at us for the next five years. Our Aruba network is helping us ensure that we’re ready to meet that challenge.”


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