Failing to take intended-use environments into consideration and purchasing end-point devices before evaluating the limitations of their current wireless infrastructure are just two mistakes hospitals can make when introducing wireless technologies into their facilities. To help healthcare delivery organizations avoid these and other mistakes, AAMI has created Going Wireless: A special compilation of AAMI wireless articles and resources (PDF) to provide insight and practical guidance to the healthcare technology management (HTM) community.
The compilation’s articles, which originally appeared in AAMI’s peer-reviewed publications, examine the major wireless challenges in healthcare today. They address a range of topics—from tips for ensuring a robust and reliable network to how to conduct a technology risk assessment.
Authors whose articles appear in the compilation hail from hospitals, the medical device industry, and security product vendors. All of them have expertise in dealing with wireless healthcare issues. One article was written by Richard Swim, a team leader of Clinical Technology at the Baylor Health Care System in Dallas. In his article, Swim recommends that facilities identify a spectrum manager “to help manage the use of the wireless spectrum in a manner in which one device does not unintentionally affect the performance of another.”
Most of the free compilation is a product of AAMI’s Wireless Strategy Task Force (WSTF). The task force, chaired by Robert Stiefel, president of RHS Biomedical Engineering, was formed earlier this year to address the growing challenges of wireless technology in healthcare. Its members include manufacturers, regulators, HTM professionals, and other interested parties.
“The mission of the WSTF is to provide guidance to healthcare delivery organizations in the planning, design, implementation, operation, and maintenance of wireless technology,” said Stiefel. “This guidance would cover both safety and performance. Whenever possible, we are referencing existing material, and making it more useful and usable to less experienced people. When necessary and appropriate, we are filling in the gaps with material that we are creating.”
The WSTF is one of many efforts by AAMI to address wireless challenges in the healthcare arena. To find out more about these initiatives, please visit a special “hot topics” page on wireless technology that AAMI maintains on its website.