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Fine-Tuning VoIP over Wi-Fi
for Quality and Reliability

· Rob Bauer, Sr. Project Manager

Providing the Voice Experience your Caregivers Deserve

Rob Bauer, Sr. Project Manager, PatientSafe Solutions

Rob Bauer, Sr. Project Manager

Delivering reliable voice performance over Wi-Fi in an acute care setting is a complex undertaking critical to Clinical Communication and Collaboration platform success. From determining the best design for access point location to understanding how the wireless devices in your facility interact with your infrastructure, getting voice over Wi-Fi right is complicated. And it’s more important now than ever – your caregivers need and deserve the best voice experience possible.

Differences in device types must be considered and understood when creating Wi-Fi requirements and network design criteria. For example, laptops have greater Wi-Fi output power, battery capacity, and larger antennas than smartphones. These attributes make a laptop more tolerant of variations in Wi-Fi infrastructure design than a smartphone. As a result, hospital-based smartphone deployments require special infrastructure design considerations.

Poor wireless design and configuration can mean dropped and garbled calls, creating a frustrating end user experience. Resulting communication challenges risk interfering with the safe and timely patient care. Through our customer engagements, we have worked with health systems that previously struggled to successfully implement high-quality voice calling over Wi-Fi. As a result, our implementation team has developed a Voice Quality Readiness process that starts well in advance of formal project launch and continues post-deployment to ensure a high quality and reliable voice experience.  Our prescriptive methodology includes:

Initial Analysis and Recommendations

Our wireless design experts deliver a comprehensive Discovery Questionnaire that allows us to get an accurate picture of your current-state Wi-Fi configuration. For example, how many wireless access points (APs) are present on each floor?  What is the square footage of the area that the APs cover? What are the transmit power settings and do these settings support the pending implementation of mobile smartphones? Asking these questions enables our team to narrow in on key areas of focus and to prioritize the approach to optimizing your network, aligned with industry best practice. After reviewing questionnaire results with your team, we create recommendations tailored to your facility’s unique needs.

Third-Party Smartphone VoIP Readiness Assessment

Our team follows the Discovery Questionnaire with our proven Smartphone VoIP Readiness Assessment in conjunction with our iOS and Wi-Fi strategic alliance partners. This is a comprehensive assessment performed in several areas of your facility that investigates Wi-Fi infrastructure, smartphone and application behavior, and performance within the current state.

This assessment is crucial to ensuring your smartphone devices will work at peak once deployed. Using specialized equipment and tools, our wireless partner experts look at your applications, devices, and infrastructure including RF signals, device logs, errors, and roaming data. We walk you through exactly how your Wi-Fi network software and hardware configurations interact with devices at your facility – and it only takes a few days.

Voice Roaming Assessment

As part of our commitment to ensuring a high-quality end user experience, we perform a Voice Roaming Assessment after wireless remediation recommendations have been addressed. Our engineers, alongside your network and telecomm teams, roam every inch of your facility mimicking real-life clinical communication scenarios. Over the course of two to three days, we test and document any issues of concern to be addressed prior to Go-Live. Alternatively, we can provide you with a Voice Roaming Assessment Package that contains all the information your team needs to conduct a self-assessment.

Post-Go Live Sustainability

We understand that your wireless environment is constantly changing. Hospital construction, additions of new roles and groups to your user community, and expansion to new treatment areas all require ongoing attention to your Wi-Fi infrastructure. PatientSafe’s goal is to ensure that you are confident in your facility’s voice quality readiness and can deliver a voice experience that your end users will love. We are here to assist you in analyzing and optimizing your wireless network needs, and understanding how our methodology will ensure the highest-possible voice experience for your care team.  For any of the services above, or for more information about enhancing your voice over Wi-Fi experience, contact us.

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