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Why DAS Is Beneficial for Hospitals & Healthcare Settings

A new wave on devices in healthcare is booming as the use of wireless local networks (WLANs) increases with its demands. Hospitals usually seek the most coverage for services, as well as in-house mobile radios, paging systems, and emergency frontlines. The seamless connectivity between all equipments and communication devices is a crucial component in the operation of the hospitals and medical centers.

From connecting the doctors, nurses, and medical staff as they’re on the move around the premises, to the uninterrupted use of the devices, there is zero room for error in the healthcare sector.

Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) are a proven, effective solution for multi-carrier, multi-frequency coverage in hospital settings. Designed for in-building Cellular, Public Safety, as well as Personal Communications Service (PCS) coverage, it amplifies cellular signals throughout the building across different platforms, carriers, and frequencies.

From the customer’s point of view, the wireless connectivity inside the healthcare facility would be the last thing at the forefront of visiting patients, or busy emergency room doctors. However, as patient wait times become increasingly long, or family members visit loved ones upon admittance, connectivity becomes far more desired. The convenience of wireless coverage for patients and visitors to communicate and connect seamlessly within the facility is not an afterthought when choosing a healthcare facility. Rather, it’s become an expectation.

Overcoming In-Building Wireless Coverage Obstacles

The healthcare industry is more and more dependent on tablet communications, within operating rooms and labs by the medical staff, or in elevators and stairwells. For city or states requiring extensive response coverage for new construction buildings, additional ordinances are being implemented based on wireless communications. In some instances, certain cities won't issue a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) unless they can offer adequate coverage.

Radio frequencies (RF) are known to be deterrent in hospital communications. Considering the age of the buildings and the presence of lead-lined rooms, walls, metals, and fluids, these generally pose obstructions to the RF signal propagation phenomenon. Even in construction of the new hospital facilities, the materials, the glass design, and the structure work together to deter signals. This also occurs with increased energy-efficient design elements. Buildings that are designed utilizing Low-E glass and new building materials can often "block" cellular signals.

How Do I Add an Effective DAS System?

Buildings with dedicated carriers putting high value on contracts sometimes find those carriers shouldering the installation of DAS system to support their own frequencies and the ‘exclusivity.’ Many carriers would offer such funding to extend the exclusive contracts and continue being the incumbent, which in turn, can assure the customers of the increased quality, reliability, dependability, and consistency that comes with the enhanced IBW coverage through DAS installation.

Hospitals may also fund their own DAS and work with an integrator who can help with the DAS Installation project end-to-end—from extensive site surveys and scoping the requirements, to planning and designing the right solution, to working and coordinating with multiple carriers, to installation, to post installation due-diligence and monitoring.

Considering the size and budget presumptions, it is more practical (and recommended) that healthcare facilities self-fund their own DAS system, rather going directly to carriers. Self-funded DAS provides hospitals with total control of their own carrier-agnostic solution.

Satisfying the Need for Clear, In-Building Wireless Solutions

The problems with signal propagation in hospital environments could be far more costly than other facilities. A reliable and consistent In-Building-Wireless solution, for both Commercial and Public Safety purposes, is much more critical in healthcare facilities than any other industry.

Airtower Networks provides customized solutions such as cellular, managed WiFi, private LTE, and more for seamless inbuilding connectivity, enhanced productivity, and a competitive bottom line. Connect with us today to commence your wireless networking journey!