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Beyond the expected

Wifi for the Hospital

By johnboy - 10 June 2013 26

Chief Minister Gallagher has announced a trial of free wifi in Canberra hospital:

A new trial of free public wifi at The Canberra Hospital has started which aims to make the stay of patients and their families a little bit easier, Chief Minister and Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher, said today.

The trial will include free public wifi in the Paediatrics, Ward 12B (Rehabilitation) initially before expanding to Oncology, Central Outpatients, Emergency Department, and Renal Services areas of The Canberra Hospital later this year.

“The Government is working hard to deliver a more comfortable hospital environment for not only patients but also their families and friends,” the Chief Minister said.

“I am hopeful that this trial will prove successful and provide patients and their visitors with another source of connection to their daily lives while in the care of our health care system.

And in case, like me, you were wondering:

“Internet access will be filtered for appropriateness, and access will be capped to avoid excessive cost to Government. Service levels are designed primarily for browsing the Internet and accessing e-mails.

What’s Your opinion?


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26 Responses to
Wifi for the Hospital
richiedt 8:29 am 11 Jun 13

Spent 6 weeks in TCH last year in the Paeds ward looking after my daughter.

This would have been really useful back then and for many parents trying to juggle thier work and caring commitments while their kids are in-patients this will be nothing short of a god send.

Worth the cost.

DontFidget 10:17 pm 10 Jun 13

there there, nothappyjan *pats you on the head*

Too much red cordial?

=)

GardeningGirl 10:15 pm 10 Jun 13

Well said nothappyjan.
If they want to improve things that are peripheral to the actual medical treatment I have a relative who would really have appreciated better food and more toilets for patients in multi bed wards.

nothappyjan 10:03 pm 10 Jun 13

Sorry but there is a difference between things TCH needs and TCH wants.

So who is this actually for:

Staff who want unmonitored Internet so they can Facebook all day long instead of doing their jobs; or

Patients and visitors who have the ability and cash to buy fancy laptops, phones and tablets but can’t afford to pay for their own wireless data usage, like everyone else, or were too cheap to pay the extra money for mobile Internet connectivity option on their gizmos and got wifi only.

Sure it may seem like a low cost and effort to people who have little understanding of how this stuff works, and what it takes to keep a service like this running with happy users. But something as simple as this will very soon need extra bandwidth to cope with youtube, torrents and skype etc, extra security and filters to stop people downloading huge amounts of torrents and porn, more access points to provide better coverage, more IT staff or contractors to do all this etc etc.

Like most IT projects this will rapidly exceed the budget and initial scope, which was probably developed on the back of a napkin over coffee.

You either need to provide a good service that meets the stated aim, which costs more and more money every year, or you don’t provide a free service and let people figure it out themselves and use things as crazy as a telephone (mobile, pay or pbx) all of which can be used to convey information to relatives, specialists and even conduct business affairs such as bill payments and banking. Unbelievable but true!

So yeah I want free wifi everywhere including TCH, because why should I pay for it myself when my taxes will pay for it instead of something we all really need?

I also want super fast Internet at home, but why should I pay for that myself from all the costly available alternatives when the gov will waste billions providing it to me. I also want free parking in the triangle, instead of having to pay just because everyone else has been forced to.

But I guess we don’t or should not always get what we want instead of need?

I suppose Katy has finally figured out the only popular ALP policy; seemingly free and fast Internet for the masses.

DontFidget 9:57 pm 10 Jun 13

I used to work at the hospital. I was way too busy to even bother to blink let alone use it. You were referring to the internet, right? (Just checking.)

And, LSWCHP, he was being sarcastic and infuriating. Let’s just pat him on the head and say, there there and move right along.

=)

HiddenDragon 9:32 pm 10 Jun 13

Very nice for the people for whom it is intended, but imagine the surprise when it is discovered (as surely it will be) that a frisky (but totally unidentifiable) ten year old, looking for something to do while visiting the Hospital, is somehow able to use the wifi to hack into the stats database and (inadvertently) make the official figures look so much better.

FXST01 8:58 pm 10 Jun 13

I’m sure the staff won’t be using it.

LSWCHP 8:32 pm 10 Jun 13

incredulousandridiculous said :

For the record, this is the same Chief Minister who went on holiday with the data tampering bitch who is yet face criminal charges. And the same Chief Minister who presides over a healthcare system consistently ranked in the bottom two States and Territories for many measures of waiting times and responses.

Try explaining this wifi plan to the thousands of aged pensioners whose health only declines further as they age, largely due to insufficient medical treatment. But what would I know, Katy, I’m just an elitist university student who can’t possibly fathom the priority that free Internet represents. Forget nurses being paid adequately or more hospital beds.

I’ve spent several tedious periods in ED and other places with a sick wife and injured kids, and I would’ve appreciated free wifi to help pass the time away while waiting for things to happen. This facility will provide patients with a reassuring degree of connectivity, which is something people expect these days and I think it’s a good thing.

And you may be a uni student, but I suspect that you don’t know the difference between “elite” and “elitist”, so maybe some remedial English classes are in order. Whether that’s the case or not, I agree with thoughtpod. Calling a woman a “bitch” on a public forum isn’t a good look.

DontFidget 8:13 pm 10 Jun 13

I am perplexed. The Media Release is for today, Monday June 11, 2013. But today is Monday June 10, 2013. Perhaps I am missing something or perhaps my calendar is playing evil games on me.

Nonetheless, I took mum to Calvary in November 2012; she had a fall and fractured her collarbone. (The irony is, she just had handrails installed for the front and back steps to her house to prevent such an occurrence.)

While waiting in the emergency department, mum was in quite a bit of pain, she started pacing the corridors. I happened to have my iPad with me, so I sat her down to see if I could find something on it to keep her (at least somewhat) distracted from the pain while we waited.

I was surprised to see we could access the hospital’s wi-fi. And well, as many would attest, having to go to hospital does tend to make one apprehensive, worried, disconcerted, etc, and that can really compound the issue – If the psychology is bad, the physiology will pay the price.

Since we had wi-fi available to us, it really did do a lot to alleviate her pain and her obvious concerns by having something different to focus on.

Consequently, this really did keep her nerves at bay during the interim of the wait (esp. for her x-ray results); she was able to access her emails, let others know how she was doing and keep informed with potential problems she might be facing (and at this point, information can really help with not feeling completely out of control).

Also, I have naked ADSL (mine comes with a land-line). So if anyone tries to ring me at home while I am connected to the hospital’s wi-fi, it will “redirect” to my iPad via SIP, so I can answer calls and keep friends and family in the loop with what is going on.

Okay, I know this thread was initially about TCH, even so, case in point.

=)

Gerry-Built 8:07 pm 10 Jun 13

A friend pointed out that the Hospital Cafe has put on a free phone charging station; an incredibly useful thing, if you’ve had to spend any amount of time there and wanted to keep friends/family up-to-date. It was provided by the “Canberra Hospital Foundation”. Great work, CHF!

The provision of Free wifi is a great idea.

54-11 7:35 pm 10 Jun 13

Having jut come out of a 6-day stay in TCH, I support this. I could have kept up with emails, news and of course RA (and the intemperate, uninformed and unthoughtful comments like #1 below).

This is a trial, the cost should be relatively low (perhaps even sponsored), and patient well-being would be enhanced.

Do the trial, Katy, and let us all see the results so we can make informed comment when the time comes.

thoughtpod 4:43 pm 10 Jun 13

The internet can be used for communicating with family and friends, researching answers to medical questions, administering bills, keeping track of what the doctors and nurses are telling you, reassuring people that you are ok and getting reassurance, and a range of other things that can reduce the trauma of a traumatic experience. And all this, as JimCharles points out, at a primary cost to the user (in terms of devices) and a marginal cost to the hospital.

incredulousandridiculous – perhaps next time think about the human side of things before trashing a very reasonable policy.

Also, calling a woman a “bitch” probably means that you should think about how you relate to women. It’s a hostile, misogynistic term, and I’m sure that being the clever university student that you are, you understand why you should probably apologise for using it.

dungfungus 1:15 pm 10 Jun 13

Last time I was at the ED at Canberra Hospital they had a wifi toilet (or was that a whiffy toilet).
I suppose this will eventually help all the bogans hanging around in the rather grotty waiting room do their phone betting or download cage fighting and schoolyard battles while they eat their disgustingly smelling kebabs while reeking of beer and vomit.

JimCharles 12:09 pm 10 Jun 13

incredulousandridiculous said :

For the record, this is the same Chief Minister who went on holiday with the data tampering bitch who is yet face criminal charges. And the same Chief Minister who presides over a healthcare system consistently ranked in the bottom two States and Territories for many measures of waiting times and responses.

Try explaining this wifi plan to the thousands of aged pensioners whose health only declines further as they age, largely due to insufficient medical treatment. But what would I know, Katy, I’m just an elitist university student who can’t possibly fathom the priority that free Internet represents. Forget nurses being paid adequately or more hospital beds.

So your ongoing degree is neither technical, social nor community or business-orientated?
Part of patient care is listening to what the patients want to help their recoveries.
Although you probably have great grounds to complain about dysfunctional and egotistical nepotists and a seeming unwillingness to independently audit some of the hopelessly naive and bullying business methods practised by a small number of executives, i think you miss the point somewhat.
It’s pretty much standard practice now to look to place wifi into hospitals to service medical systems and alarms, so the idea of opening some of this existing capability up to the public is not necessarily a waste of money, it can even save money and make the patient experience better and cheaper, thus leaving more public money for medical improvements.
Being in hospital is pretty daunting and worrying. Patients don’t want to have to walk to a telephone, or go to a communal TV room with strangers, or be left isolated in bed with nobody to talk to…they want two-way communication, they want familiarity, a feeling of security, and to remain in contact. They want hospitals to feel more like hotels because the feeling of wellbeing can help recovery.
Instead of investing public money into multiple communication/entertainment systems and then having to maintain and update them forever, isn’t the future about providing the capability for patients to communicate however they like, when they like? They can bring a phone, a laptop, a tablet, a pair of Google Glasses…whatever they want…then they take it home with them, upgrade as they like…but they bear that cost away from the public purse?
I don’t know what they charge here, but public hospitals in the States don’t get a great deal from cable companies when installing systems, the cost of which goes on the patient’s bill if they want to use the phone, see a baseball game or watch a movie.
It’s part of the bigger picture but not necessarily prioritising one element of care over another, they all have value.

incredulousandridicu 10:02 am 10 Jun 13

For the record, this is the same Chief Minister who went on holiday with the data tampering bitch who is yet face criminal charges. And the same Chief Minister who presides over a healthcare system consistently ranked in the bottom two States and Territories for many measures of waiting times and responses.

Try explaining this wifi plan to the thousands of aged pensioners whose health only declines further as they age, largely due to insufficient medical treatment. But what would I know, Katy, I’m just an elitist university student who can’t possibly fathom the priority that free Internet represents. Forget nurses being paid adequately or more hospital beds.

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