Over the coming months, patients and visitors will be able to access WiFi for free in hospitals across the province.
Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson said hospitals are very high traffic areas and people want to be able to access the internet in the hospital.
“Being able to stay connected with family and friends helps patients feel less isolated, whether they are an inpatient or they come to the hospital often for ambulatory services such as dialysis or cancer treatment.” said the minister. “Visitors also appreciate having access to WiFi as they often spend long periods of time at the hospital.”
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Souris Hospital recently installed public WiFi in some patient care areas and waiting rooms within their facilities. WiFi at Souris hospital was made possible through a partnership with the local Lions Club.
Patients using smart phones, laptops and tablet PCs are able to detect the hospital’s WiFi hotspot through their device and connect to the internet.
“We appreciate that patients, families and visitors do spend a lot of time in our health care facilities and that it is important for them to stay connected with work, family and loved ones,” said Health PEI Chief Information Officer Mark Spidel. “We have received positive feedback from patients and visitors who have been able to access the WiFi services in some hospitals already. Implementing a WiFi network in those hospitals has enabled us to improve the patient experience immediately.”
The public WiFi system is separate from the protected wireless service used by doctors and other health care staff.
Work to install WiFi in the remaining Island hospitals is expected to begin this June. Hospitals will be covering costs related to the installation and internet service individually, with costs varying based on the size of the facility.