Methodist Healthcare: Wireless network means more nurses

By Brian Dolan
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Doctor ReportGE Healthcare and Sprint teamed up to update San Antonio, TX-based Methodist Healthcare's six hospitals with a converged wireless network platform. The healthcare group's CIO noted that the new system may result in a bigger budget to hire more healthcare provider workers, and mentioned nurses as an example.

“We have to work to make hospitals more efficient,” Eddie Cuellar, CIO of Methodist Healthcare told TelephonyOnline in a recent interview. “Our doctors and nurses need tools that are wireless so that they don’t have to be tethered to a phone or a computer. If a nurse needs to reach a doctor with a question when she is administering some medication and that doctor is walking the halls of the hospital, wireless is the only way to reach him.”

“We are reducing costs by reducing wireless infrastructure,” Cuellar said. “Telemetry has been in its own wireless system. As we transition to newer telemetry devices, we are now putting those on the same wireless infrastructure, so we are laying the groundwork for a higher-end infrastructure.”

Cuellar also noted that wireless systems are more easily centrally managed, so they don't require as many full-time tech-focused employees on-site.

“For every FTE [full-time equivalent] job I can cut, that’s another nurse we can hire,” Cuellar said.

For more, read the article over at Telephony