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Wi-Fi Fit For Healthcare Communications

Identifying the Symptoms of Legacy Wi-Fi in Healthcare

It’s no secret that ubiquitous Wi-Fi is modernizing the world we live in across a number of different industries, ranging from retail and education to manufacturing and even healthcare. Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals require the ability to be reached immediately when in the building for emergencies as well as the ability to quickly transmit information to colleagues so that patients are receiving the best treatment possible.

The healthcare industry is under a lot of pressure to stay current with the digital age and the need for rapid communication, so it makes sense that a key enabler to the modern day digital revolution is fast, reliable Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi has evolved from a simple means to connect without cables and check an email or browse a website to becoming the primary method for client devices to access network resources in most organizations.

In many workplace environments, Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) calling is now a key communication method, and healthcare is at the forefront of leading industries to take advantage of VoWiFi solutions. In several hospitals, VoWiFi is the only way for a patient to communicate with a nurse. However, not every Wi-Fi solution is ready to support VoWiFi, especially in challenging environments such as hospitals where interference is prevalent and heavily attenuating walls (such as those found surrounding radiology labs), which stop Wi-Fi signals in their tracks, are present.

Healthcare institutions need Wi-Fi solutions that can stand up to harsh Wi-Fi environments to support VoWiFi calling and that work with a chosen and trusted provider of Wi-Fi calling and messaging. This is where Meraki and Ascom are the perfect prescription for healthcare organizations ailing from legacy communication systems!

Prescribing Fast, Reliable Wi-Fi With AscomAscom MycoAscom is a global solutions provider that focuses on healthcare data mobility solutions for customers around the globe. Their wireless handsets, which are used by doctors, nurses and administrative assistants, are renowned for their durability and reliability. Ascom phones are purpose-built for specific industries, including healthcare, with secure data messaging and instant communications as parts of the core feature suite.

Meraki and Ascom recently teamed up to undergo a series of interoperability tests (using Ascom’s popular i62 and Myco phones) to ensure that healthcare customers who are currently, or considering, using Meraki in their environment are fully capable of satisfying their voice and messaging needs using the WLAN. At the end of this testing, it was found that Meraki met all requirements to ensure that healthcare customers can reliably use Ascom phones with Meraki MR 802.11ac Wave 2 access points on the latest stable firmware release.

Meraki Wi-Fi, The Perfect Medicine for Configuration Headaches

Traditionally, designing a network for VoWiFi has been a tricky endeavor. After meticulous RF site surveys both before and after the wireless network deployment, network administrators must then turn the focus toward complex RF and WLAN configuration steps. This introduces loads of complexity, and plenty of opportunity for errors that can result in the WLAN performing suboptimally and causing communication problems among doctors, nurses and the patients that they are trying to support.

Thankfully, Meraki wireless is engineered with simplicity in mind. Administrators can follow our recommendations outlined in our Wireless Voice Deployment Guide and implement our guidance around radio settings, access control, and firewall & traffic shaping settings. Once these handful of configurations are completed, Meraki takes care of the rest by automatically implementing a variety of 802.11 amendments and features behind the scenes to fully optimize the environment for critical VoWiFi functionalities such as roaming and power savings.

A Healthy Network Is a Happy Network

With certified interoperability between Meraki MR access points and Ascom phones, combined with best practice default configurations in Meraki wireless pertaining to security, roaming, and quality of service, Meraki Wi-Fi is a perfect fit in healthcare environments. Especially when considering the new monitoring tools made available for all Meraki wireless networks with Wireless Health.

Meraki and Ascom have come together to show that both solutions complement one another and interoperate to provide a high performing, reliable VoWiFi service that healthcare organizations can leverage to bring the efficiency and rapid mobility that healthcare professionals require to support patients in the today’s digital healthcare facilities. Those that are interested may find these detailed interoperability reports between the Meraki MR 802.11ac Wave 2 APs and the Ascom i62 as well as the Ascom Myco.