South Auckland's Middlemore Hospital is installing a wireless network to improve access to patient information. National Communication Service New Zealand (NCS) is rolling out the network in the emergency care department. It will go live in late November. The network will allow clerical staff to transmit patient details to the hospital's central computer system from their bedside using a laptop. Previously, such details were taken at reception; or if at the bedside, written by hand. The hospital says this faster method of taking patient details allows patient care to begin sooner. The system is based on Avaya Orinoco Wireless technology. Each laptop has a card acting as an aerial that can transmit and receive data. Around the hospital, access points hardwired to the LAN promise disruption-free coverage. Transmission is on the 2.4GHz radio spectrum, with devices being designed and tested not to interfere with medical equipment. Tests are underway to extend it to other parts of Middlemore.
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