​Patients, visitors and staff are benefiting from a new Wi-Fi service rolled out at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH), thanks to a partnership with eHealth NSW.

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​The Wi-Fi system allows patients and visitors to stay connected with friends and family, access entertainment, and manage their everyday lives, wherever they are in the hospital.

Already more than 6,000 users have logged into the service since it went live last month.

“Access to Wi-Fi has enhanced the care we can provide in the unit and made such a difference to patients and visitors,” said Rohan Ashover, nursing manager for the Cancer Centre day unit at RNSH.

“Many of our patients are here for a large portion of their day while they receive chemotherapy treatment. Internet access means they can pass the time quickly browsing the web, connecting on social media or watching movies via streaming services.

“It also provides a great distraction from their cancer treatment and they can do normal things like pay bills, shop online or keep up with work,” he said.

Supported by Hills Health Solutions, the Wi-Fi system has a free and paid service, with the premium option being better for activities that require faster download speeds such as online gaming or watching Netflix.

“Access to Wi-Fi is everywhere these days, from coffee shops to cruise ships. So why not have the Internet in hospitals?” said Jason Matthews, Conference, Collaboration and Wireless Program Manager for eHealth NSW, a specialist government agency that delivers information and communications technology solutions across the public health system.

Thanks to a $20-million injection of State funds for Wi-Fi in hospitals and eHealth NSW’s work on building the Health Wide Area Network (HWAN), a state-wide roll-out of the patient Wi-Fi solution is close.

“We are working with service providers, like Hills, to create clearly defined operational and cost models to make a state-wide roll-out a reality,” said Mr Matthews.


Picture: Rohan Ashover, nursing manager for the Cancer Centre day unit at RNSH with patient Cedric Deal.​