Redstone Takes King’s College Hospital into Wireless Future

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has appointed Redstone Converged Solutions, to install a wireless infrastructure across its campus under a leasing arrangement with Cisco Capital.

The solution, which will be deployed during the next twelve months, will supplement the existing hardwired network and provide complete coverage across all internal and external areas of the site.

The hospital already had some wireless network coverage on 15 of its 45 wards, in A&E and theatres, but this was insufficient to enable the success of forthcoming IT and voice applications.

The network will enable many demanding communication and productivity applications, including wireless telephony and asset tracking using RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology.

Wireless telephony will allow users to make or receive unbroken IP wireless calls from anywhere on the hospital campus. The wireless solution is based on 1,000 Cisco lightweight access points, managed by a Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS) platform.

RFID tagging, delivered by third party provider, Airetrak, will facilitate the tracking and location of equipment around the hospital campus. The asset tracking solution will use Cisco’s 2700 Series Wireless Location Appliances.

Colin Sweeney, ICT Director at King’s College Hospital, said: “Redstone Converged Solutions will equip us to keep pace with the clinical and business applications specific to the NHS which rely on wireless networking. The leasing arrangement is extremely beneficial, enabling us to modify our ongoing needs without extra capital cost.”

Other network based projects will include the deployment of voice activated paging systems, mobile communications devices which will help advise medical staff to review information such as X-rays to colleagues for second opinions, and increased use of tablet PCs and Computers on Wheels (COWs) for supporting ward rounds.

Paul Kennedy, Managing Director, Redstone Converged Solutions, said: “This project will showcase the benefits a hospital can achieve from a wireless network, both in terms of telephony and the versatility it can bring for wide-ranging applications and asset management.”

Scot Gardner, operations director – public sector, Cisco UK & Ireland, said: “The demands of modern healthcare environments require applications that increase productivity, efficiency, responsiveness and security, enabling clinical staff to focus on patients. Kings College Hospital’s new wireless infrastructure should not only help the hospital improve efficiency and effectiveness, but ultimately help the hospital deliver enhanced patient experiences.”

Roger Willmott, CEO, Airetrak, said: “Historically, traditional asset tracking solutions have been out of the reach of UK hospitals due to the high cost of the infrastructure required. Airetrak’s new wireless based solution makes use of the Cisco network, providing effective tracking at a fraction of the cost. The Airetrak solution will ensure the Trust receives a return on its technology investment by combining savings in medical equipment with improvements in staff productivity and patient care.”