"wifi access for patients and visitors"

About: Addenbrooke's Hospital

(as the patient),

I have to come to addenbrookes quite frequently due to my illness, to get blood tests etc, and some days I am in the hospital all day.

As such I need access to wifi to be able to carry on with my work, as well as passing the time.

What I fail to understand in a modern era, is that a high tech hospital like addenbrookes at the fore front of research is unable to provide either free or paid wifi access to its patients and visitors.

The upfront infrastructure costs could be out weighed by the additional revenue that could be made through either paying for the service or advertising revenues.

I feel that it is unbelievable that you are able to pay for parking but not for wifi, especially as every business relies on internet access.

If your internal IT teams are unable to do this cost effectively there are many outside companies that could provide you with a package including maintenance.

I feel that addenbrookes is letting its patients and visitors down in the reluctance to move forward into the 21st century.

And ultimately a missed revenue stream.

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Responses

Response from Nicola Hallows, Complaints and PALS Manager, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your feedback about the availability of wifi at Addenbrooke's Hospital.

Certain public areas, such as the shopping and food concourse and the Frank Lee Centre, are covered by a free public wifi and members of the public can connect to these in the areas covered. These areas are connected to wifi by the Trust’s commercial partners, for example the café providers in the concourse, which is why they are outside of the normal Trust wifi provision.

The Hospedia entertainment system for inpatients also includes the facility to use paid for internet access from the bedside through the Hospedia devices. However, any signal for wifi that patients are able to see on their device but not access on the wards is not accessible to patients. This wifi is for clinical staff to use the electronic patient record and associated clinical applications to treat patients. It is a highly secure service to ensure patient confidentiality.

Although it would be possible to segment this wifi network to ensure both confidential and public access, this would have a significant impact on performance/speed of access for clinicans if the public and patients were using the clinical network to access significant quantities of data.

Unfortunately, the option of a third party supplier to provide a separate wifi is not straightforward, as trials have previously been shown to interfere with the performance of the main clinical wifi network.

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Response from Addenbrooke's Hospital

Thank you for your feedback about the availability of wifi at Addenbrooke's Hospital. Certain public areas, such as the shopping and food concourse and the Frank Lee Centre, are covered by a free public wifi and members of the public can connect to these in the areas covered. These areas are connected to wifi by the Trust’s commercial partners, for example the café providers in the concourse, which is why they are outside of the normal Trust wifi provision. The Hospedia entertainment system for inpatients also includes the facility to use paid for internet access from the bedside through the Hospedia devices. However, any signal for wifi that patients are able to see on their device but not access on the wards is not accessible to patients. This wifi is for clinical staff to use the electronic patient record and associated clinical applications to treat patients. It is a highly secure service to ensure patient confidentiality. Although it would be possible to segment this wifi network to ensure both confidential and public access, this would have a significant impact on performance/speed of access for clinicans if the public and patients were using the clinical network to access significant quantities of data. Unfortunately, the option of a third party supplier to provide a separate wifi is not straightforward, as trials have previously been shown to interfere with the performance of the main clinical wifi network. Thank you again for your suggestion. Patient Advice and Liaison Service

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