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Southern Health rolls out iPads, BYOT, wireless network

Southern Health rolls out iPads, BYOT, wireless network

Plans to expand wireless in the works

The rollout of iPads, a 'bring your own' technology (BYOT) policy and the trial of an internal wireless network have given Southern Health staff members greater access to patient information while on the move.

Southern Health CIO, Dr Philip Nesci, said that the largest public service provider in Victoria began to trial Motorola Solution's wireless internet at Casey Hospital earlier this year.

“We decided to go fully wireless in Casey Hospital, basically as a pilot to really understand not just wireless but technologies and the impact they can have on personal care,” he said.

“We’ve also introduced iPads and other devices and part of the strategy has been device independent and we’ve introduced [a] 'bring your own' computer [scheme] so staff can wirelessly connect to the Southern Health applications such as pathology and diagnostic imaging.”

In-depth: How to create a successful mobile project.

With a user base of 12,000, a small IT team and the regular IT funding challenges that come with operating in the health care sector, Nesci said having access to patient records on mobile devices has been a major coup.

“The ability to access even existing systems on mobile devices is really changing the game here at Southern Health and I’m sure other health organisations are doing the same,” he said.

“The technology we’ve put in place is pretty much device independent, so we will see in the future a mix of devices being used to access our applications.”

Handling 20 per cent of Victoria’s health case load, Nesci said Southern Health’s medical records can now be viewed online, and there are plans in the works to roll out wireless internet access across its remaining 44 sites.

“We’re looking at gradually implementing wireless across our hospital network, but Casey has been one of the first to go fully wireless,” he said.

Southern Health's director of IT, Paul Jurman, spoke to <i>Computerworld Australia</i> last month, saying that an increasing demand for IT resources and increasing requirement for more agile IT were two of the biggest challenges facing IT managers today.

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