The assisted living industry demands a careful blend of compassion, care, and cutting-edge technology. This is where HealthSignals, an industry-leading provider of advanced telecommunication solutions, excels. Let’s delve into how HealthSignals is revolutionizing senior living facilities, and why it’s becoming an essential element in the aging life care and assisted living industry. (more…)
What elements are necessary to ensure the highest quality of care in senior living? While this question could elicit a myriad of responses, there is a consensus that having an efficient and dependable communication network is pivotal and HealthSignals couldn’t agree more.
With decades of experience in the industry, we understand the challenges many CCRCs and LTPACs face which is why we provide a comprehensive suite of solutions that can greatly increase the quality of care in senior living. This includes Medical Grade Wi-Fi®, Cellular Solutions, VoIP for Residents and Businesses, and Emergency Responder Radio Coverage Systems.
Digital connectivity Infrastructure is an indispensable part of modern-day business. Given the growing risk exposure, evolving security landscape, and stringent regulations, it has now become essential for senior living and LTPACs to strengthen and support their IT connectivity Infrastructure and performing a Tech Audit can help. It’s a process of technical evaluation that assesses the current status of your connectivity and network to gauge its performance. (more…)
If you have ever heard the terms ‘shared internet’ and ‘dedicated internet’, you might have wondered exactly what they mean. What separates these two, and which type of internet is a better choice for your senior living facility? You’ll find the answer in our overview of the 5 main differences between dedicated internet access and shared internet access.
Shared Vs. Dedicated Internet: 5 Key Differences
Shared internet connections often advertise impressive speeds, but what they don’t tell you is that those speeds can only be achieved when there are very few other users actively using that connection at the same time you are. This rarely happens, and shared connections rarely reach those top speeds as a result. They can state this in their advertising because they always include the term “up to” prior to the advertised speed.
If you have a dedicated connection, however, your community is the only user allowed onto the network and will be able to use it to connect to the high-speed internet. This makes it much easier to maintain high connection speeds, allowing for lightning-fast webpage loading, uninterrupted video streaming, and more.
Although network reliability has improved considerably over the years, users on a shared internet connection can still expect to experience the occasional service outage. In a CCRC facility with life-sustaining medical devices connected to the cloud, even a few minutes without service could have deadly repercussions.
Dedicated connections, however, are typically monitored 24 hours a day and are given priority access to proactive maintenance and repairs. Outages are extremely rare and tend to be very short in duration. The result is internet service with true 99.9% reliability that you can count on even for life-critical applications.
Shared internet access is a somewhat risky prospect by definition. With potentially thousands of users on the same connection, there are innumerable opportunities for hackers to infiltrate your network.
Since dedicated internet connections are for your use only, you have much more control over authentication practices, firewalls, and other cybersecurity measures. This makes these connections much safer for medical applications where users’ privacy and safety are potentially at risk.
In the context of internet connections, symmetry refers to the balance between download and upload speeds. Internet connections delivered over coax (CATV/DOCSIS/CMTS) are Asymmetrical by design; and while their download speeds are passable, their upload speeds are significantly 5 – 10 times slower. It may take several hours for this type of internet connection to upload large files like high-resolution images and videos.
Dedicated fiber optic internet connections offer high performance, Symmetrical download and upload speeds. This is perfect for organizations and institutions with regular data transfer needs, such as healthcare facilities, and Wi-Fi for senior living facilities.
5. Customer Support
When you’re using a shared internet connection, you may find yourself waiting a long time to get your ISP’s customer service department to address any problem you have. Not only can this be frustrating, but it can also interfere with your ability to run your business.
Having a dedicated internet connection makes you a VIP customer with your ISP. Because you have made a significant investment in their services, they are bound by the Service Level Agreement that stipulates specific timeframes to address and resolve any issues. Once raised, these will be handled in a matter of hours, rather than the days or weeks, it might have taken a typical customer to get a resolution to the same problem.
Choose Dedicated Internet for Your CCRC Facility Today
Dedicated internet access offers so many advantages that it is inarguably worth the investment for businesses that depend on a quality connection, including senior living Wi-Fi facilities.
At HealthSignals, we specialize in Medical Wi-Fi and advanced telecommunications solutions for CCRC and LTPAC facilities. Contact us anytime to learn more about our communications infrastructure and what it brings to the table for facilities like yours.
Basic consumer Wi-Fi varies greatly in quality; you never really know what you’re going to get. Medical grade Wi-Fi®, on the other hand, is subject to strict quality standards to maintain consistency and safety for all users. Adding this type of Medical Wi-Fi network to your facility could bring a number of improvements to both your staff and your residents.
Earning the ‘Medical Grade’ Label
In order to be deemed medical grade, a Wi-Fi network must meet all of the following criteria:
Senior living Wi-Fi coverage can be spotty in many larger buildings, making it difficult to know when and where you will be able to access the internet. Medical Grade Wi-Fi®; provides 100% coverage over its service area, so you’ll never have to wonder if you will be able to get a signal no matter where you go inside the building.
Capacity refers to the number of devices a Wi-Fi network can support at one time. Medical Grade Wi-Fi® is built with an extremely high capacity to accommodate simultaneous use by a large number of devices. Life-sustaining medical devices are given top priority within the network to ensure that they are always able to access the bandwidth they need.
Medical Wi-Fi Signal Strength:
Signal strength is prioritized at -67db in an enterprise-grade network (the minimum for Voice over Wi-Fi) and may be nominal or best effort at the consumer level. Signal strength in a medical Wi-Fi network is engineered and guaranteed at -65db or greater (that may not sound like much, but it is a 56% stronger signal).
Signal reliability must be as high as possible since Wi-Fi downtime in a medical setting could cost lives. While many enterprise-grade Wi-Fi solutions boast impressive reliability of 99% or more, Medical Grade Wi-Fi® networks offer 99.9% signal reliability you can truly depend on.
A network’s certainty refers to its ability to operate without interference in an environment with high radio frequencies. The certainty of Medical Grade Wi-Fi® networks is rated ‘very high,’ promising fail-safe performance in mission and life-critical environments. In addition, medical Wi-Fi is highly secure and fail-safe with no single point of failure. Self-monitoring and alert mechanisms ensure that alerts are sent at every failure, and you can set up rules-based alerts. Routine device pinging ensures that devices are functioning properly, and if they are not functioning as expected, you can take corrective measures right away to avoid failures during critical periods.
Medical Wi-Fi Security:
Medical Grade Wi-Fi® must comply with HIPAA’s strict privacy standards. Networks employ a variety of cutting-edge digital and over-the-air security measures to ensure that patients’ sensitive health data is never compromised by data breaches or cyberattacks.
A Medical Grade Wi-Fi® network is backed up by self-monitoring systems that alert IT staff of device outages and other emerging problems. These issues can then be addressed proactively to avoid further outages at critical periods.
Applications of Medical Wi-Fi for Senior
Most of the requirements that define Medical Grade Wi-Fi® assume that it will be used in conjunction with medical devices, but you can use your new network for much more than that. A few of the potential applications for Medical Grade Wi-Fi® include:
Residents can use their new high-bandwidth connection to read the news, stream television and movies, enjoy video calls with family and friends, and much more.
Public access to medical wi-fi
Providing a strong Wi-Fi connection for guest use allows visitors to see that your facility is a comfortable and modern establishment. This paints your facility in a favorable light and may even result in new customers.
Business and medical administration
Running a senior living facility means dealing with reams of notes, forms, papers, presentations, and more. A high-quality Wi-Fi connection can help to streamline day-to-day duties like billing, charting, and medication management, saving your staff hours of time each day.
Medical Grade Wi-Fi® Solutions for CCRCs
Installing Medical Wi-Fi on the premises is a large progressive step for your senior living Wi-Fi facility, but the process is not without its own unique challenges. At HealthSignals, we pride ourselves on our CCRC telecommunications expertise. Read our whitepaper to learn more about how to properly implement medical Wi-Fi in your facility or contact us to discuss your institution’s unique needs.