Barts NHS signs four year wireless LAN deal

Barts and the London NHS Trusthas signed a four year deal with Siemens for a wireless local area network.

The deal is part of a building reconstruction project at the London hospitals, which include St Bartholemew’s in Smithfield and the Royal London in Whitechapel.

Under the multimillion pound contract, the hospitals will implement the Siemens Enterasys fixed and wireless local area network technology. An exact value for the deal has not been disclosed.

The new network will handle all optical images, video streaming and traffic from wireless devices and PCs. Doctors will be able to upload and check treatment information at patients’ bedsides, using wireless diagnostic equipment or through devices plugged into the trust’s main IT network.

It is the first in a three stage communications programme, and will be completed next year. Currently, clinical staff have to return to fixed PCs to enter the data.

In the future, the trust wants hospitals to be able to use the LAN for better data sharing, and to track supplies and equipment with RFID tags.

Doug Howe, deputy IT director at the trust, said the LAN will be “secure and flexible” with over 99 percent reliability.

Barts and the London NHS Trust experienced severe difficulties last year as BT attempted to roll out the Cerner Millennium patient administration system. It was also reportedly "losing" waiting lists because of problems with the technology. The system is being extended across London and much of the south of England.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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