A new wave on devices in healthcare is booming as the use of wireless local networks (WLANs) increases with its demands. Hospitals usually seek the most coverage for services as well as in-house mobile radios, paging systems and emergency frontlines. The seamless connectivity between all equipments and communication devices is a crucial component in the operation of the hospitals and medical centers.From connecting the doctors, nurses, and medical staff as they’re on the move around the premises, to the uninterrupted use of the devices, there is zero room for error in the healthcare sector.
The Healthcare industry is becoming more and more dependent on tablet communications, be in operating rooms and labs by the medical staff, or in elevators and stairwells by all. For a city or a state which require an extensive response coverage for new buildings being constructed, new ordinances are being implemented due to the driving force of the wireless communication trend. There are cities that do not issue Certificate of Occupancy unless they can offer adequate coverage.
Radio frequencies are known to be deterrent in hospital communications. Considering the age of the buildings and the presence of lead-lined rooms, walls, metals and fluids, these generally pose obstructions to the RF signal propagation phenomenon. Even in construction of the new hospital facilities, the materials, the glass design, and the structure work together to keep the signals out. The increased energy efficient designs tend to keep the cellular signals well away from piercing into the building facilities. Buildings that are designed utilizing Low-E glass and new building materials are constantly degrading cellular signals.
Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) has proven itself effective for multi-carrier, multi-frequency coverage in hospital arena. Designed for in-building Cellular, Public Safety, as well as Personal Communications Service (PCS) coverage, it amplifies cellular signals throughout the building across different platforms, carriers, and frequencies
Buildings with dedicated carriers highly putting value on contracts sometimes find those carriers shouldering the installation of DAS system in order to support their own frequencies and the ‘exclusivity’. Many carriers would offer such funding to extend the exclusive contracts and continue being the incumbent, which in turn, can assure the customers of the increased quality, reliability, dependability, and consistency that comes with the enhanced IBW coverage through DAS installation. Hospitals may also fund their own DAS and work with an integrator who can help with the DAS Installation project end-to-end - from extensive site surveys and scoping the requirements, to planning and designing the right solution, to working and coordinating with multiple carriers, to installation, to post installation due-diligence and monitoring. Considering the size and budget presumptions, it is more practical (and recommended) that healthcare facilities fund their own DAS system, than getting it funded from carriers who may offer it, as deploying the self-funded DAS will provide the hospitals with total control of their systems and it also won’t be carrier-biased.
The problems with signal propagation in hospital environments could be far more costly than other facilities. The need to have the complete, reliable and consistent In-Building-Wireless solution, for both Commercial and Public Safety purposes, is (dare we say) more dire in healthcare facilities than any other industries.