Staff, Patients & Visitors Get Automatic, Secure Access to Wi-Fi 6 and WBA OpenRoaming™ Across Multiple Hospital Campuses
June 2021 by Emmanuelle Lamandé
Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) member, Cisco has completed the rollout of the WBA OpenRoaming service across four of Adventist Health’s hospital campuses in the United States. The success of the rollout, which enabled staff and visitors at the hospitals to connect seamlessly and securely to the Wi-Fi network without needing to enter login credentials, means OpenRoaming with Cisco’s DNA Spaces will now be implemented across all 24 Adventist Health campuses, saving doctors, nurses and IT support staff valuable time and delivers an enhanced secure experience for patients and visitors, which ensures their privacy.
Adventist Health, which serves more than 80 communities throughout the West Coast and Hawaii, as well as Australia considers Guest Wi-Fi a mission-critical service, due to limited cell coverage at many of its sites. The implementation of OpenRoaming means that wards, waiting areas, staffing areas and other operational areas will now be securely onboarded to a Wi-Fi 6 network, which users can access without needing to enter an email address or password.
Traveling nurses and doctors will be able to connect instantly to the network, saving time as they move from site to site. Each staff member will have an Adventist Health app that contains their unique ID. Users of the app will be automatically connected to the Wi-Fi 6 network via the OpenRoaming service on their arrival. Consulting and administrative staff will also be able to access records easily and securely, reducing friction and streamlining the overall running of the sites.
The OpenRoaming implementation also saw a huge reduction in the number of trouble tickets that would usually be raised in an effort to get on the network - something Adventist Health expects will benefit all 24 of its sites as the rollout continues.
WBA CEO, Tiago Rodrigues, commented: “OpenRoaming has always been about removing the friction usually associated with public and guest Wi-Fi, and it’s rewarding to see it serving a mission-critical purpose at Advent Health’s campuses. We’re excited for the next stage of the rollout, which will see OpenRoaming extended to all 24 sites.”
OpenRoaming is currently being rolled out to the 24 campuses using equipment from the Cisco Catalyst 9000 series access points and switches delivering the Wi-Fi 6 network throughout the buildings. Cisco DNA Spaces is the engine that runs OpenRoaming via AAA authentication and a connector to the OpenRoaming Federation.
Ed Vanderpool, Senior IT Manager at Adventist Health commented: “OpenRoaming has already made a significant difference to the experience of staff and visitors. Having access to Wi-Fi 6 without any kind of barriers means we spend far less time dealing with issues around connectivity and more time focusing on the important work that goes on in our sites. The potential for future applications, such as interactive mapping, really excites us.”
Prior to OpenRoaming the hospital had access to an ‘entertainment hub’, which had very strict access rules applied to it due to Adventist Health’s internal terms and conditions. OpenRoaming provides a direct path to the internet with accepted terms and conditions, and avoid issues surrounding bandwidth, access and connection quality which were becoming problematic at the sites.
The potential applications for a globally connected hospital campus with seamless Wi-Fi 6 access are practically unlimited, with functions such as personalized check-ins and interactive mapping - using Cisco DNA Spaces - to help visitors find their way around, already being explored.