Enabling Innovation for U.S. Healthcare System
In this case study
A large U.S. healthcare system operates more than 40 hospitals across the Midwest, serving millions of patients every year. The healthcare system has long been a technology leader, from using sensor technology to virtually monitor patients to adopting autonomous mobile robots that lighten caregivers' workloads.
In 2023, the healthcare system made another move forward in connecting technology and care. It opened its doors to a multispecialty center that will serve as a model for patient experiences of the future.
One of the technologies the healthcare system wanted to embed into the multispecialty center was location services. Among many use cases, location services allow hospitals to track staff and patient interactions, optimize spaces, and maximize the availability of medical devices.
To achieve these goals, WWT provided:
- An onsite workshop to understand the client's technology and business drivers.
- A net new radio frequency (RF) design to support location services technology like Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) smart badges, nano disposable tags and infrared (IR) beacons.
- Guidance on how to expand the capabilities of existing infrastructure.
- Migration of wireless controllers.
- Identification of future use cases based on selected technologies.
Streamlined workflows: BLE smart badges allow staff to be tracked to the room level. This will be especially beneficial given the size of the multispecialty center. Administrators can see how clinicians, nurses and caregivers navigate the new space and then streamline workflows to give staff time back. Badges also will help nurse or security stations deploy resources to the exact location of a staff member who needs assistance.
Improved patient engagement: BLE nano disposable tags allow patients to be tracked at the room level. About the size of a dime, tags attach to patient wristbands. Nurses will receive automatic alerts via text messages if a patient is leaving a designated area. The nano tags, along with infrared beacons in rooms, provide data on wait times, examination duration and room occupancy. This data can then be used to improve provider engagement and avoid overcrowding departments.
Maximized use of medical devices: BLE-enabled access points help staff know where a medical device is at the room level. Staff can immediately see whether a medical device is in use, available for use or having maintenance performed. They can also see when a queue for medical devices is nearing empty. Knowing precisely where a device is located, and its availability status, help to maximize the use of high-value assets.
Integrated patient experience: BLE-enabled access points and BLE beacons augment another breakthrough in patient experience: the adoption of a customized auto wireless access solution, similar to OpenRoaming, the open industry standard that allows device roaming between different Wi-Fi networks. Patients who have downloaded the healthcare system's customer-facing app are automatically onboarded to the multispecialty center's network when they walk through the doors. The network identifies the patient's EPIC ID, allowing patients to automatically access their health records without going through a guest portal. Combined with location services, the healthcare system knows who a patient is and where they are located without any manual intervention.
Transformation isn't simply a technology decision. Such undertakings demand the right mix of technology, people, capabilities and areas of expertise. Here's what this initiative required:
- Briefings and workshops
- Wireless network infrastructure
- Mobility architecture consulting services
- Infrastructure services
- Data migration services
Our deep domain expertise cuts across business and technology. And our ability to extensively test solutions and deploy them at scale allows us to both advise and execute to create new realities for our clients. Here's how we did it for this healthcare system:
With so many solutions on the market, it can be difficult for IT leaders to identify the right location services solutions based on their organizations' needs. The healthcare system's IT staff was in the early stages of assessing Kontakt.io. During a workshop, WWT's mobility experts further educated staff about the benefits of using Kontakt.io, accelerating technology decision-making.
Achieving new outcomes with technology doesn't always mean adding new hardware. The healthcare system had already purchased Cisco 9130 access points for the multispecialty center. Our wireless architects leveled up this investment by installing IoT advanced gateway software on the access points. With minimal additional cost, the access points now act as beacons.
Knowing that the healthcare system is always exploring how to best harness technology, we wanted to provide a solution that would allow future location services use cases. With sustainability being a top priority for the healthcare system, we showed engineers and architects how to configure access points so they can act as sensors that monitor temperature, air quality, humidity and ambient light without having to deploy additional hardware.
For newer access points to optimally function within a new wireless design, we migrated close to 3,000 Cisco AireOS wireless LAN controllers to IOS-based controllers. At the same time, we drove down technical debt by removing end-of-life access points and controllers.
As your organization navigates through the complexities of new technologies, evolving market demands and global supply chain issues, it's important to have a trusted advisor who has the expertise to position your business for success.
From idea to outcome, you won't find another partner who:
- Combines strategic consulting expertise with the ability to seamlessly execute complex IT deployments worldwide.
- Can cut your testing and migration time from months to weeks, if not days, by leveraging our lab services, OEM partnerships and certified experts.
- Acts as the single point of contact for designing, building, and deploying fully integrated systems on time and on budget.
Learn more about our capabilities. Explore our work.