Leeds Hospitals NHS Trust is to implement a wireless network worth up to £3.5m following a successful pilot scheme.
A spokesperson told eHealth Insider that the trust is about to put out a detailed specification to companies on approved framework agreements for the design and supply of a wireless network, project management, technical support and ongoing support and maintenance.
The decision follows a pilot scheme in which 40 wireless access points were spread across the respiratory and oncology departments so staff could use a range of devices at the patient’s bedside to call up information such as records and test results.
In a trust survey, 90% of staff said wireless was ‘very useful’ or ‘useful’ during ward rounds for accessing radiology or blood results, while 90% of junior doctors said their ward rounds took ‘much less’ time.
In addition, 100% of patients surveyed said that looking at scans and x-rays helped them understand their clinical diagnosis.
Although the trust doesn’t necessarily expect to see direct financial gains from the implementation, it says that wireless technology will aid the deployment of a number of “innovative solutions that will radically improve care delivery.”
The spokesperson added: “The technology is a prequisite for our clinicians to access the developing electronic patient record that our trust plans to grow through integrated technologies over the next few years, via or informatics strategy focusing on the Clinical 5 and portal.”
Leeds hopes to start implementation of the network in April. Delivery will be carried out in four “financially linked phases” over five years. Investment in mobile technologies will support the deployment.
The spokesperson said: “The technology will enable our clinicians to view results, prescribe and request tests or imaging at our patient’s bedside in real-time rather than returning to a central workstation.
“Further technologies we will be considering moving forward with are around Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) to help identify, monitor and track resources, people and assets.”