Wireless bedside computing for Dubai hospitals

A unique solution for the region is aimed at providing wireless access to patient care services in DOHMS hospitals.

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By  Sarah Gain Published  June 2, 2005

The Dubai Department of Health and Medical Services (DOHMS) has introduced wireless patient bedside computing at three of its hospitals in Dubai using Cisco Medical Grade Network portfolio of technologies. The network is already implemented at the Rashid, Dubai and Al Wasl hospitals from the beginning of 2005. Between January and April 2005, doctors at the three hospitals have used the wireless networks to serve 14,500 inpatients at bedside. Doctors used the Physician Order Entry (POE) system to electronically requisition various services such as radiology and lab requests. The system implemented by Cisco Systems, facilitates secure wireless networking which enable physicians greater mobility in patient wards and most importantly, instant access to patient information, lab results and X-rays by means of a laptop. "Enabling wireless access to patient history records and online orders for lab tests represents the core module of our ambitious project in introducing full digitisation of inpatient services in our hospitals,” says Sina AbdulAziz Khoory, IT director, DOHMS. “This is an historic step that will transform the entire system of delivering patient care through wireless technology that is compatible with all types of mobile devices.” Before executing the system, the need for a solution with strong authentication and good encryption was taken into consideration as DOHMS places supreme importance to the privacy of the patient’s medical history data. "In collaboration with Cisco Systems we have successfully implemented a solution in which the doctors are able to make maximum use of user-friendly wireless networking tools to enhance patient care at the bedside, eliminating associated paperwork and further speeding up processes," explains Khoory. More than 120 laptops residing on carts are linked to the DOHMS network through 160 Cisco Access Points, with full security provided by the Cisco Healthcare Protect and Secure networking solution that controls authentication and authorisation and maintains an accounting of all users accessing the network, to trigger an immediate response to any security threat. The solution implemented in DOHMS is designed to help hospital professionals share information more efficiently, establish the highest possible levels of security and reduces administrative, maintenance, troubleshooting and training costs. More significantly, the solution incorporates robust products that protect the network against outages, service degradations and security breaches.

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