Shriners Hospital Partners with WilsonPro to Improve Patient Care and Cellular Connectivity
Starting with one hospital in 1922 in Shreveport, LA that dedicated to providing pediatric orthopedic care, free of charge, Shriners Hospital for Children is synonymous with an “amazing care provider.”
Almost 100 years later, it has grown into a network of 22 nonprofit medical facilities across North America—comprised of 17 hospitals and five outpatient clinics. Amazingly enough, Shriners Hospital has treated over 1.4 million children, regardless of their families’ ability to pay.
The pediatric care teams at Shriners are led by some of the world’s most innovative doctors.
This comes as no surprise, considering the complex healthcare needs they address. Shriners Hospital offers advanced care to the most vulnerable pediatric patients—those suffering from burns, spinal cord injuries, neuromusculoskeletal conditions, cleft lip and palate, and more.
But it doesn’t stop there. Shriners strives to give every patient compassionate, wraparound care in a supportive, loving environment that helps them thrive as well as recover.
This is where WilsonPro and its healthcare connectivity solutions became part of their story.
Spend just one day at a Shriners Hospital and the need for reliable cell signal becomes obvious.
From concerned parents keeping their families informed on the status of their child’s treatment to doctors on rounds seeing patients and staying in touch with colleagues around the clock, the presence of cellphones and cellular-connected tablets keeps everything in constant motion.
Unfortunately, at the Shriners location in Montreal, Quebec, the cellular connectivity was less consistent—regardless of carrier. Ironically enough, the hospital’s innovative new building was to blame. Completed within the last two years with state-of-the-art construction materials to prevent heat loss and save energy costs, the structure was also effective at blocking cell signal.
The problem with weak cell signal was particularly of concern in the on-call room—the precise location where medical professionals are on-site, 24 hours a day; always just a phone call away.
Some hospitals, in particular the McGill University Health Center, use DAS solutions to solve their cell signal issues. However, with mistakes made along the way with the installation of an Active DAS it cost this hospital millions of dollars to correct and it still didn’t deliver the results they expected.
Choosing to install another Active DAS was out of the question after taking in the learnings from MUHC Hospital—given the $1+ million price tag as well as time and federal approvals needed.
By a referral by Richard Macklan, Eastern Regional Channel Manager at Keating Technologies, Inc., the Shriners team was put in touch with Stephen Friedman—President of CELLWORK DAS©. He assured them that a WilsonPro solution would be their most cost-effective, time-sensitive option that would boost signal for all Canadian carriers like Rogers, Bell and Telus.
Once the scheduled site survey was completed at Montreal’s Shriners Hospital for Children, plans were quickly underway. A WilsonPro 70 Pro Plus was utilized to quickly cover the on-call room and surrounding area from the fourth-floor server room. 200 feet of cable would make its way down from the roof of the hospital.
The installers placed extra attention to run cables and install hardware in an active hospital environment, the installation was completed within the quoted two working days.
A powerful Wilson omnidirectional outside antenna was chosen to capture cell signal from all carriers. To minimize structural impact, it was installed with a non-penetrating roof mount.
Plans for handling the rest of the 100,000 square footage, six-story building are to be resolved by installing an additional two WilsonPro cellular repeaters.
“Where we once had constant complaints (about the quality or nonexistence of cell coverage) we now have no complaints,” the client explained.
The biggest difference was realized in the hospitals’ on-call room. Doctors no longer have to rely on the limited number of landlines to stay in contact with colleagues and patients and can use their phone to browse the internet and easily make calls and texts.
Most importantly, the cost savings of a WilsonPro solution (compared to Active DAS) allows more of the hospital’s resources to go toward its mission of providing a supportive, loving environment where the Shriners continue to give children the most amazing patient care.