Patients and visitors at Christchurch Hospital can now stay connected wirelessly free of charge, a move widely seen as a step forward for the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB).
CDHB CEO David Meates, says it is great to be able to offer people coming to the hospital access to free Wi-Fi.
“Nearly 4,000 people come through the doors of Christchurch Hospital each day," he says.
"Patients can feel cut off from their normal lives while in hospital. Now we can help reconnect them to the outside world while they are with us."
Meates says this step forward is particularly welcomed given the redevelopment of Christchurch Hospital and the CDHB's need to ‘future proof’ its facilities.
"More and more patients and visitors bring their own device with them and now they can use them free of charge while they are in our care,” he adds.
The service is provided in conjunction with local telecommunications provider Snap, who have been providing CDHB with a range of services for over four years. It will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
“As people live more of their lives online, we are delighted to be supporting a service that allows patients and visitors to remain connected to friends and family, keeping their independence while in hospital,” adds Mark Petrie, CEO, Snap.
The service can be accessed from many Canterbury DHB sites including Christchurch Hospital and some parts of Burwood and Hillmorton hospitals as part of a six month trial.
Other sites, such as The Princess Margaret Hospital will not have the service due to technical capabilities. Ashburton Hospital may provide the service following the six month trial.
Which CDHB sites provide free public Wi-Fi?
Most of the Christchurch campus - Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch Women’s and outpatient areas have the free service.
Exclusions include the Great Escape Café and University of Otago, Christchurch School of Medicine. Some areas of Burwood and Hillmorton Hospitals also have free public Wi-Fi.
How will people know exactly where it is available?
Signage, posters and other promotional materials are currently being prepared that will make it clear where the service is available.
How easy is it to use and how reliable is the service?
Full instructions will be provided via a number of different ways including our website. The service will be reliable as it’s delivered over high speed fibre infrastructure. However priority will be given to clinical data.
Who is paying for the service?
CDHB will provide the infrastructure and Snap will provide the internet feed.
What restrictions are there?
· Sites and content deemed inappropriate will be blocked when using the service. Similarly content accessed by people within CDHB facilities on their own network is subject to CDHB policy.
· It will also not be possible to download material like movies due to file size.
· Help will only be available for users via the CDHB website.
What will happen after the six month trial?
The service will be evaluated with a survey and diagnostic analysis.