In The News

New Service Lets SVH Patients & Visitors Enter Cyberspace With Wireless Internet

The launch of Adventist Health’s Project IntelliCare at Simi Valley Hospital (SVH) in September 2006 has spawned a new and popular service — wireless Internet access for patients and visitors.

In order to enable wireless network access for the 70 mobile carts that form the heart of Project IntelliCare, SVH’s Information Systems Department installed 65 wireless access points throughout most of the hospital’s campuses. Although wireless access for Project IntelliCare is kept separate and secure for the purposes of patient confidentiality, the same hardware can be used to offer wireless access to patients and visitors.

The new service, which is free of charge to users, came online in early December and has grown in popularity over the past month simply by word of mouth, said Orv Beach, director of Information Systems, Simi Valley Hospital.

Currently, users can log on to the wireless network on the Main Campus, North Campus and Administration suites. Beach said that service to the Aspen Outpatient Center and the Alamo Building should be available by the end of the first quarter of 2007. The hospital’s new Patient Care Tower will also offer the service when it opens this summer.

The new system makes Internet access easy for hospital guests: When users attempt to log on through their wireless-enabled laptop, they are directed to a web page that contains access information, including instructions to call the hospital’s operator. After answering a few basic questions, users receive a password from the operator, which is good for 24 hours.

The addition of patient and visitor wireless Internet access has paved the way for another telecommunications advancement, Beach said: Following training sessions early this year, physicians will be able to download patient data to their PDAs.

This comes on the heels of the very physician-popular Project IntelliCare feature that lets doctors connect from their office computer to view information and perform routine activities that used to require a trip to the hospital, such as signing transcriptions.

In late 2007 or early 2008, Beach said, Simi Valley Hospital will bring Phase III of Project IntelliCare online, which will add a number of new features.

Posted 1/31/07