COVID-19 has made it abundantly clear that Wi-Fi is essential in assisted living and skilled nursing centers. Wi-Fi has been essential to these facilities for years, enabling connectivity for administration and residents alike. However, COVID-19 has illustrated just how important Wi-Fi is in keeping vulnerable communities safe. Medical-grade Wi-Fi®enables video-heavy technologies such as telemedicine and virtual visits with loved ones in the midst of a pandemic.
Campus-wide Wi-Fi has traditionally required significant IT resources and capital investments in hardware. Even then, Wi-Fi networks aren’t always up to the demands of senior living and skilled nursing environments where HIPAA-compliant security is a must and voice, video, and data gobble up resources. Fortunately, Wi-Fi as a Service (WaaS) delivers Medical-grade Wi-Fi across your entire campus without the hassles, expenses, and privacy concerns of traditional deployments.
What is Wi-Fi as a Service?
You’re likely familiar with software as a service (SaaS), which allows you to subscribe to cloud-based software like Microsoft 365, Google G Suite, or SalesForce on a monthly or annual basis rather than buying expensive software licenses. SaaS has proven to be flexible, scalable, and easy on the budget. WaaS works in much the same way.
For example, with Wi-Fi as a Service, you’re not buying the underlying hardware, nor are you responsible for designing, installing, managing, troubleshooting, repairing, replacing, or upgrading it. Instead, the service provider provides everything that is needed to support the level of service that you’ve ordered for as long as the service agreement is in effect.
The Benefits of WaaS
Just like with SaaS, there are a number of benefits to WaaS.
Medical Grade Wi-Fi®
Telemedicine is coming of age in the coronavirus era, but it requires extensive bandwidth and 100 percent compliance with HIPAA. You can’t just hook up an iPad to a hotspot and call it a day! Medical Grade Wi-Fi® is a HIPAA-compliant solution that facilitates encrypted communications with healthcare providers via telemedicine.
Healthcare providers often use video conferencing tools for virtual consultations with their homebound patients. Not only is this taxing on network resources, it requires the secure, encrypted connections and HIPAA compliance to ensure the privacy of protected health information.
As more residents and their doctors embrace mobile healthcare, mHealth devices are likely to proliferate in your facility, each using up bandwidth by sending and receiving data either intermittently or constantly. Medical Grade Wi-Fi® provides the capacity and HIPAA-compliant security you need for video conferencing and mobile healthcare devices such as cloud-based heart monitors, smart thermometers, ingestible sensors, blood pressure monitors, automated insulin delivery devices, and various wearables.
Predictable Wi-Fi Costs
Wi-Fi as a Service shifts the costs of Wi-Fi from a capital expense to a recurring expense. Rather than incurring a large upfront cost for hardware, cabling, site surveys, design, and labor, WaaS is sold as a monthly or annual service based on the number of residential units. You can either use your existing Internet connection or get Internet bundled into the service. Either way, your monthly Wi-Fi costs are predictable. In fact, our future-proof WaaS solution has the lowest total cost of ownership over a five- or seven-year contract.
Since your Wi-Fi costs are broken down by residential units, you can easily communicate the value to your residents who are increasingly expecting Wi-Fi as an amenity—and not just for telehealth, but for VoIP telephone service, streaming movies and television, voice-activated assistants, smartphones, tablets, and video portals that let them interact with their loved ones face to face via live streaming video.
Reduced IT Support Costs
Because Wi-Fi as a Service is owned by the service provider and delivered as a service rather than a finished installation, it’s also supported by the service provider. This reduces your IT support costs. Since many facilities lack full-time IT staff members, when a minor issue does arrive, it’s often ignored until it escalates into a much larger problem, resulting in higher IT costs to fix it.
With Wi-Fi as a Service, it’s no longer necessary to pay an external IT tech to maintain the system or troubleshoot issues nor will you need to worry about being sold additional services or hardware you don’t necessarily need. As your Wi-Fi as a Service provider, we handle all maintenance, troubleshooting, repairs, warranty work, and other issues affecting your service. HealthSignals offers the only Technology and Performance Guarantee among Wi-Fi providers.
Improved Resident Satisfaction
Seniors, patients, and their families increasingly expect robust Wi-Fi throughout senior living and skilled nursing facilities. Pre-COVID-19, they wanted to be able to stay connected via FaceTime and similar services in between in-person visits. The pandemic only heightened this desire as visits became impossible. Likewise, telehealth is becoming more prevalent. Being able to participate in virtual consults is more than just a convenience, it reduces the patient’s exposure to viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens in healthcare settings and can reduce unnecessary trips to the emergency room.
Robust Wi-Fi services with full coverage throughout the facility can help improve the overall senior living experience for residents and their families, resulting in improved satisfaction.
WaaS as a Profit Center
Another benefit to Wi-Fi as a Service is that you can offer upgraded Wi-Fi to residents who want a more robust solution than the traditional phone and cable TV package. Some facilities may choose to include Wi-Fi in the rent while others may want to make it an optional upgrade. It’s up to you to choose how to bill for it, but with our low, predictable costs per residential unit, you can see there’s room to make a small profit while still providing your residents with an exceptional value.
We often refer to WaaS as “worry-free Wi-Fi” for several reasons:
- Capital expenses won’t keep you up at night.
- Advanced HIPAA-compliant security and encryption keep your system in compliance.
- Our Technology and Performance Guarantee keeps your system running at the highest levels.
- Your residents and staff enjoy 99% reliability.
- No matter where you are in the building, you have wall-to-wall coverage.
- High capacity for vital devices.
- Future proof solution that’s ready for the challenges of today and tomorrow.
Not having to deal with technology is a huge benefit of Wi-Fi as a Service, allowing you to focus on your mission of service to your residents and patients. HealthSignals’ Wi-Fi as a Service is about as worry free as you can get. Learn more at HealthSignals.net.