The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

March 26, 2009

RGH now offers wireless

Grandparents can get pictures of minute-old babies at 3 a.m. Patients can sit in hospital beds and trade e-mails with loved ones. Business can be done while sitting at the bedside of a recuperating spouse. Teenagers can text friends and teachers from a hospital room.

Welcome to the world of wireless connectivity at Raleigh General Hospital.

RGH CEO Karen Bowling is excited that patients, physicians and guests are now able to use Blackberries, iphones, laptops and other wireless technology at the hospital.

“We are so pleased to be able to provide this to our community,” Bowling said Thursday. “From our perspective, we want to cater to the physicians and our patients and patient families, and give them the opportunity to stay connected.”

She said RGH administrators have been working on the plan a couple of years.

“You have patients’ families that are here that are sitting with patients, and they still need to be able to conduct business,” she said. “As we all know, the world has become wireless.”

Bowling pointed out that in today’s world wireless technology is essential for physicians who often need to access the most up-to-date medical information.

“If physicians are in the hospital and dealing with a complex issue, being able to go on their Blackberry and pull up information is helping us to contribute to quality patient care,” she stated. “I just think there are so many possibilities.”

RGH has had wireless access since Wednesday and has posted instructions throughout the hospital on how guests can access the wireless Internet.

Patients must have their own wireless-enabled devices. The device must have a standard Internet browser with wifi capability in order to use the guest networking site, Bowling said.

Physicians also have been accessing wireless Internet at the hospital this week, Bowling said.

“You want your physicians and staff to have up-to-the-minute access and capability,” she said. “It’s part of our mission of making sure we’re providing quality health care.”

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