Providence Health System Selects Bluesocket(R) to Promote Patient Education

By | April 17, 2006

Bluesocket, Inc., (www.bluesocket.com) the leader in open wireless network, security and management solutions, today announced that Providence Health System has deployed BlueSecure(TM) Controllers at seven of its hospital locations, expanding existing wireless capabilities to its patients and their families. The project supports the organization´s mission of putting patients in control of their healthcare.

“Our wireless strategy is to make our functioning transparent, so patients have immediate access to their records and other medical information,” said Dick Gibson, Chief Medical Information Officer at Providence Health System. “Using Bluesocket, we were able to extend our existing wireless network to visitors without having to worry about viruses, worms or other intrusions invading our system. As a result, our patients and their families are better equipped to research medical issues and make informed healthcare decisions.”

Currently, seven Providence hospitals have deployed BlueSecure controllers to support a shared wireless LAN (WLAN) network – two hospitals in Oregon are using BlueSecure 5000 Controllers and five hospitals in Oregon, Washington and Alaska are using BlueSecure 2100 Controllers. Each hospital functions as a Wi-Fi hotspot, with the controller acting as a firewall between existing Cisco Access Points (APs). The controllers use real-time monitoring of user data to detect malicious traffic, enabling administrators to automatically block network access to hackers or worm-infected users. Visiting patients, family members and pharmaceutical vendors can log into the network by simply providing their e-mail address and accepting a standard set of Internet guest guidelines. Every day, nearly 50 unique users log onto Providence´s network to research online medical resources and conduct work-related activities.

Gibson added, “As a hospital that thrives on shared decision-making, it´s important that we provide patients with the tools to learn about healthcare issues. Our wireless network gives patients a way to have an influence on their healthcare. By working with Bluesocket, we are better able to provide patients with a convenient and educational environment.”

During the next six months, Providence officials plan to deploy BlueSecure controllers at three additional hospitals in Oregon. Their long-term goal is to increase the number of offsite physicians who take advantage of the hospital´s wireless capabilities. Ultimately, they want all physicians to use their private wireless devices on the shared network, in order to become more efficient in accessing patient results and entering orders while conducting hospital rounds.

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