LITS Networking Team seeks to dramatically improve hospital wireless usability

There is an upcoming effort to consolidate wireless services in the Emory University Healthcare. The plan is to move specific devices off of shared network services, then combine the remaining services into one network. This effort is made possible, in part, by leveraging the recent investment in EmoryGuest.

The devices that are being moved to their own subnet are infusion pumps. An infusion pump delivers fluids, such as nutrients and medications, into a patient’s body in controlled amounts. The reason for giving these devices their own dedicated network is so that administrators can improve on care results by more easily collecting information on the medications supplied by the pumps, how they are being operated, etc.

Currently, when you go to the hospital, and connect, there are five different SSIDs (simple service identifiers…the name of the network) you can connect to. The more SSIDs in place on one network, the poorer the wireless performance.

A typical infusion pump.

The new solution involves moving the infusion pumps off their current SSID and over to the new Clearpass profile being used by EmoryGuest. The new automation will allow administrators to manipulate the network to assign the infusion pumps by location. Location-based identification enables future moves of different devices. This will yield richer data about the network’s users.

Once the pumps are placed on their own subnet, the Networking Team will migrate all of SSIDs into one. This will result in a leap forward in usability.

These changes will occur over the next 3 to 6 months and will include all of the hospitals in the Emory system.

Special thanks to the team that is making this effort a reality. This includes:

  • Jamie Frisbee from EHC PM
  • Stan Brooks
  • Chad Street
  • IT Teams from EHC including Mary K. O’Brien
  • EHC Infrastructure Matt Casssidy
  • Tony Dawson
  • Wayne Ortman


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