Guide to Medical Grade Wireless Utility

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What is Medical Grade Wireless
Utility (MGWU)?

The Medical Grade Wireless Utility consists of the cornerstone elements of three grades of service, across four wireless networks which together constitute an infrastructure shaped to the building and engineered to deliver appropriately assured wireless service at the locations in the health care enterprise as required by need.  The MGWU is a vendor-neutral, future-ready wireless infrastructure able to transport wireless signals from medical devices of established vendors and new and startup vendors alike. In addition, it will provide transport for any wireless service provider, paging and two-way radio, and Wi-Fi for guests, patients and the enterprise. Further, a wireless network designed around the principles of the MGWU will provide the critical underpinning for:

  • The burgeoning connected health ecosystem, including BYOD (bring your own device) and enabling care out of the hospital
  • The increasing importance of the WWAN
  • Engineered Wi-Fi
  • The increasing use of wireless medical devices as well as location services
  • Enabling a higher quality of care and improved patient safety at lower cost to the hospital, and
  • A wireless infrastructure that involves no above ceiling modifications requiring infection control procedures.
  • Making wireless device decisions based on the infrastructure and not infrastructure decision based on the device.

Wireless Networks

Wireless Clinical Data Network (WCDN)

The WCDN is a logical network that uses the physical assets of the broadband (DAS), WLAN and possibly other networks to carry its traffic. It includes both licensed and unlicensed radio frequency bands and is used for medical devices providing life critical continuous monitoring. Such devices could include patient monitoring, telemetry, and infusion pumps. As such, the WCDN requires a Medical Grade of service.

Illustration of a Wireless Body Area Network (Part of the Wireless Clinical Data Network)

The combination of electronic medical records and computerized physician order entry now being 100% electronic with a robust wireless infrastructure has yielded numerous benefits. As anticipated, the consistency and quality of care has improved dramatically. Since there are no dead spots in coverage, there is no disruption to patients or critical areas due to the need to add or reposition antennas. Also, emergency messages can be received anywhere in the facility and acted upon in a timely fashion. Doctor, staff, and patient satisfaction are high. The immediate sharing of patient information, including test results, has increased efficiency and response times.

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