In-building mobile connectivity
5 Min Read

why healthcare needs reliable mobile connectivity

Combatting the pandemic

In March, COVID19 put the NHS under a pressure that it had, until now, not experienced in its recent history. As a result, it has shone a spotlight on ineffective communication in hospitals and what is needed to implement communication systems that enable efficient collaboration and virtual consultation.

It’s not hard to see that unreliable and ineffective communication methods has a critical impact on many patient/care scenarios and in the wake of the pandemic, reliable communication methods and subsequent connectivity for the purpose of telemedicine - has gone from being that of an ambition for the not-so-distant future - to a fulcrum that overnight, the NHS needed in order to function

The sheer scale of the NHS is often its Achilles heel when attempting to revolutionise any strategy, and whilst the NHS recently rolled out an extensive free WiFi solution to more than 95% of all practices and properties UK wide, it failed to solve the problem of poor mobile reception. The most recent NHS England Long Term Plan anticipated the widespread use of online services within the next 5 years - including video consultations. Reliable, responsive digital communication software and tools and the innovative use of mobile technology has been a desire of the NHS for many years. But in response to the Covid19 pandemic, it has placed an extraordinary burden as the NHS has sought to find ways to implement new digital communication strategies on the fly.

All of these strategies need to keep as their central motif patient confidentiality while attempting to provide the widest possible integrated communication tools. The sudden adoption and increased use of mobile working and mobile technologies within the NHS alongside simultaneously combating Covid19 could not place any further strain upon already stretched staff, and a viable solution could not be more necessary.

It is estimated that 83% of healthcare workers experience poor mobile signal, making the very function of their devices unfit for purpose. That is, of course, before we factor in an often understandably anxious patient, left feeling isolated whilst having to deal with complex and emotionally difficult situations. Conservative estimates show that patients are now making 25% more calls each day, putting an already stressed infrastructure under even more strain. Now, take into account healthcare institutions that suffer from in-building mobile connectivity issues and the situation only exacerbates.

With the implementation of on-duty smartphones, tablets and electronic health records, digital communication and connectivity in healthcare has rightfully taken centre stage over the last decade. In fact, 86.2% of doctors now use mobile technology to access medication details, and 75.5% use it to access critical information. Yet with health service facilities notorious for inadequate mobile coverage, frustration among employees and patients has only be magnified by the demands and geographical restrictions of Covid19.

A simple solution to boosting mobile connectivity

Prior to the pandemic even short stays in hospitals were arguably difficult, feeling quarantined from your daily life, the absence of good connectivity was frustrating to say the least. And while the healthcare industry has been fully aware of this problem for a long time, 2020 has brought the need for seamless communications to the forefront. Particularly from a patient care perspective, the difference strong mobile connectivity can make to an individual’s life is extraordinary. Take those spending long periods of time in hospital or even on a renal dialysis ward, these experiences are not only daunting and isolating from the get-go but when your only option is a long term stay with no-visitation allowed or to regularly attend appointments alone, the ability to stay connected to the outside world could alter the entire experience.

Implementing a strategy to boost mobile connectivity in healthcare facilities can:

  • Develop more accurate and efficient check-in systems, billing, and documentation processes
  • Increase the transmission speed of large data files, such as MRIs
  • Aid telemedicine initiatives to support social distancing measures
  • Eliminate dead zones
  • Create faster access to patient data and test results, streamlining diagnosis

Inadequate in-building mobile coverage seems outdated in 2020, especially when the negative results of it can be detrimental to both mental and physical health.

At UCtel, we have straightforward, secure and Ofcom approved solutions to deliver robust mobile in-building connectivity. This year we have provided successful coverage solutions for a number of NHS sites, take this one for example. Suffering from poor 4G coverage and being one of the most badly hit Trusts during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, one of their hospitals desperately needed urgent access to digital services and connectivity. A solution was needed imminently that we knew only CelFi could provide.

Sounds interesting, how does it work?

UCtel provides in-building mobile solutions which are carrier independent, cost effective to deploy and legal to use, which, to put simply enough, just work.

As for the science behind CelFi, the products work by receiving the original mobile provider signal via an external donor antenna or via a small cell. The signal is then amplified and propagated through the building, through internal antennas. Being independent from the mobile carrier’s antenna allows for quicker and simple installation, with the option to boost however many networks your establishment requires.

It’s amazing what our simple yet clever technology can do. By boosting data speeds and bringing improved call quality to your healthcare facility, you can provide better care and experiences, while granting your staff access to the information they need to give the right treatment to your patients.

What do we need?

A floorplan. Simply share with us what part of the building or whole building you would like to benefit from reliable mobile coverage, and we can provide a no-obligation indication of cost.

Just give us a call on 0333 344 4417or email us on sales@uctel.co.uk to find out more.