The Wits University Donald Gordon Medical Centre (WDGMC) in Johannesburg, the country’s first private academic hospital, has implemented a wireless local area network (WLAN) with Intel.

The purpose of the installation is to give patients undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy access to their e-mail and Internet during their treatment time and to enable the doctors to become more efficient in their daily jobs.
“In the oncology department, treatments can last from three to six hours a day,” says Gregory Cline, business development manager at Intel. “For some patients the boredom of long hours receiving treatment has been alleviated by access to e-mail and the Internet.
“Many patients still have full-time jobs and the wireless network enables them to continue working whilst undergoing treatment,” he adds.
Doctors at the WDGMC have also been given access to the WLAN and it has improved their working environment 10-fold.
According to Sue Tager, medical director at the WDGMC, before the WLAN was installed, doctors would access email and the Internet from their desktop PCs which, given the doctor’s busy schedules and time constraints, was often problematic.
However, following the implementation, the doctors are now able to arrange appointments, communicate with colleagues and receive updates on their schedules between operations or while moving between their consulting rooms in different hospitals.
The WLAN provided for the doctors and patients has been a huge success and it now serves over 40 doctors within the hospital. As a result, the WDGMC intends to run an integrated Hospital Information System in the future featuring a range of applications to ensure the smooth running of administrative tasks which will further enhance efficiencies.