Wellington Scoop

Free wi-fi for overnight patients in Wellington and Hutt hospitals

Press Release – Capital and Coast District Health Board
Staying in hospital is more enjoyable with free WiFi provided at Wellington Regional, Kenepuru Community and Hutt Hospitals and the Kapiti Health Centre. Free WiFi – which lets mobile phones and devices connect to the internet – is available to patients staying overnight.

“We listened to patients’ feedback about the importance of staying connected with friends, families and schools,” said chief information officer Shayne Hunter.

“Free WiFi and internet access will help patients stay fully in touch with family and friends, and with what’s happening in the outside world during their stay in hospital.”

Patients can log into the WiFi with the national health index (NHI) number on their hospital identification wristband. One NHI can be used to log two devices into the network at the same time.

Making free WiFi available involved significant changes to the hospitals’ IT platforms, as well as implementing systems to filter content and block certain websites if required.

“Our priority was free WiFi for patients who stay in hospital – especially for prolonged periods. We’re now exploring free WiFi for outpatients – those attending appointments – in the future.”

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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  1. Poope John, 24. February 2017, 17:48

    Prioritizing taxpayer funded Wi Fi and calling it ” free” when nobody goes to the hospital for WIFi , looks like this is a distraction from core service failures as Wi Fi not even part of a hospital service.
    Nice try at a spin accountants@CCDHB.

  2. Ben, 24. February 2017, 19:10

    I ended up in hospital unexpectedly for one day and would have really appreciated the free wi-fi to get in touch with family and friends.

  3. Robert, 25. February 2017, 8:51

    Free Wi-Fi is a relatively easy ‘nice-to-have’ that will make hospital stays more relaxed for many. There are always more important demands on health care services, but they are often expensive and complex items that pose capital and operational challenges. Wi-Fi is low-hanging fruit, well done to the decision makers for picking it and keeping the hospital up with other public places.

  4. Poope John, 25. February 2017, 10:53

    The wifi is not “free” as the taxpayers have already paid for it.
    @ Robert, studies prove that the internet does not relax people but stresses most people out.
    @ Ben, a personal phone call could’ve got you in touch.

  5. Ben, 25. February 2017, 18:40

    @ poope John. Of course I made a personal phone call but access to email would have made it a lot easier to have stayed in touch with many people rather than making copious calls while undergoing treatment.

  6. Poope John, 26. February 2017, 8:10

    Better for the CCDHB (and for patients) to prioritize their treatment in hospital rather than focusing on internet communication with many people (at a cost as WI Fi is not free) . As the internet does not relax people it is not beneficial part of hospital medical treatment.
    It is deceptive for the CCDHB to call it free. It is taxpayer funded and we have not had the costs of this not “free Wi Fi” service disclosed.

  7. Ian Apperley, 27. February 2017, 15:22

    I’m going to disagree with Poope John.

    First, internet access is now considered a basic human right. Many countries are moving to provide free access to citizens and New Zealand is behind in this regard.

    Second, it’s not that much overhead for CCDHB given they are using wireless already, because that’s smart, so allowing a slice of that for the public is common sense and cheap.

    There is no evidence that “the internet does not relax people.” Many studies have shown that the lack of internet access not only stresses people out (because they are cut off from others) it’s also a disadvantage socially.

    If you want to know how much it is, put in an OIA.

    I think it’s a good idea. One hopes that it is fast enough to be useful.

  8. Poope John, 27. February 2017, 16:11

    The WI Fi is not ” free ” as we pay for it, but the cost has not been disclosed as it is called ” free”. Studies have proven that the internet (and internet addiction) causes stress in most people. Stress is not conducive to healing. In cases where digital technologies increase awareness of stressful events in the lives of others, the researchers found stress to be contagious.

    “Facebook was the one technology that, for both men and women, provides higher levels of awareness of stressful events taking place in the lives of both close and more distant acquaintances,” the researchers wrote. “and
    http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/how-facebook-makes-us-unhappy and

    With some human beings in this world without clean water, shelter and food, I do not recognize the internet as a “human right’. Internet is no more of a “human right” than a car, phone or TV would be.

  9. Mike, 27. February 2017, 17:19

    “Studies on how the internet affects our ability to think, focus, and relax have arrived at a much more consistent conclusion: Americans spend more and more time glued to their screens, but doing so is shrinking our attention spans and ramping up our stress levels.”
    Quote from an article “Is the internet making us stressed out and stupid?”

  10. Wellington Commuter, 27. February 2017, 17:36

    I wonder if the CCDHB has consulted any medical professionals on whether WiFi will increase or reduce stress as part of its decision to provide this to patients … they just might have, don’t you think?

  11. Ben, 27. February 2017, 22:13

    @ Poope John: Well my stress levels when finding myself in hospital unexpectedly would have been lowered if I had the use of the internet to stay in touch and feel connected.

    @ Ian Apperley: I agree. The hospital has internet throughout the building so it is not that much of a bigger cost to provide it to patients who, in the main, would most probably only use it to stay in touch with family and friends. It possible it will also reduce the amount of time ward staff have to deal with calls from friends and relations phoning in to ask about patients.