How hospitals meet Wi-Fi demands: 5 survey findings

Efforts to meet consumer technology demands begin right in the hospital with initiatives as simple as offering free wireless internet. Currently, wireless networks in hospitals mostly provide guest access and support clinical applications, according to a survey from Extreme Networks.

Extreme Networks provides networking technology solutions and platforms. The company surveyed more than 100 healthcare IT professionals globally to gage how they use wireless in their hospitals.

Here are five key statistics from the survey.

1. Hospitals leverage wireless access for many purposes, but mainly for guest access (77 percent). Sixty-six percent of respondents said they use wireless for clinical communications, 55 percent said they use it for medical records and 52 percent said they use it for medical devices.

2. Respondents' main concern regarding wireless use in the hospital is security and compliance (34 percent), followed by performance (28 percent), critical availability (19 percent) and coverage (14 percent).

3. The majority of hospitals (85 percent) offer free Wi-Fi to guests. Five percent offer paid Wi-Fi, and 10 percent of respondents offer another form of connectivity.

4. Sixty-four percent of hospitals connect medical devices using wireless networks.

5. When asked how often hospitals plan to upgrade their wireless networks, 31 percent said every three years, 26 percent said every five years, 7 percent said every 10 years and 20 percent said "other."

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