The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital treats patients to free WiFi
Summary

Purple is working in partnership with The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust to deliver a quality WiFi solution for patients, visitors and staff to access whilst at the hospital. Purple’s WiFi and analytics solution was deployed onto 375 existing Cisco access points located across the site in July 2016 and the free service is now actively used by thousands of people on a monthly basis.

The Challenge

Before last summer, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital only had WiFi access in privately operated coffee shop located at the front of the hospital, which meant that people couldn’t use the service when in the wards and waiting rooms. As part of its programme to improve patient experience across the Trust, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital began to consider what type of WiFi solution would work best for its patients.

Nowadays, patients expect a WiFi connection in hospital as they like to be able to stay in touch with friends and family during their treatment. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital felt that free connectivity was particularly essential in their Roxburgh Children’s Centre, as young patients and their parents like to be able to stream videos and access interactive websites during their stay.

Discussions and installation

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital discussed their WiFi connectivity for patients with a number of providers. However, when they were introduced to Purple’s solution the team was highly impressed by the functionality and possibilities available to them. Not only would they be able to deliver seamless connectivity across the whole site, but they would be able to distribute important information and updates to those accessing the WiFi. Whether that be a simple reminder for visitors to wash their hands and control infection whilst on site or distributing emails about winter flu vaccinations post visit.

The fact that that Purple could be installed using their existing IT infrastructure was another benefit that the trust found appealing and more cost effective. A contract was officially signed with The Queen Elizabeth Hospital at the start of July. In just over 2 weeks the WiFi service was live and accessible via a dedicated splash page where patient’s login via a simple form. The solution was widely publicised around the hospital and on their website to ensure patients and visitors were fully aware of the brand-new service.

In full operation

To date, the hospital’s free guest WiFi has proved very popular, with almost 23,000 visitors accessing the solution since it was installed. In August 2016, the first full month of WiFi access, a total of 5,847 people logged into the WiFi and in January 2017 this figure had increased by almost 10%.

Commenting on Purple, Michael West, Head of ICT at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The feedback that we have received from patients about the WiFi has been very positive, the weekly KPI’s that we receive from Purple’s portal prove that the offering is well used and the user demographics have proved particularly interesting. Our main demographic at the hospital is elderly patients and in initial discussions about WiFi many people believed that this age category wouldn’t use the service. However, this has not been the case as many of our older patients use it. This information is useful to justify the usage amongst our largest demographic.”

Purple’s analytics show that 42% of people accessing the WiFi are aged 45 and over, with almost 20% of this group aged 65+. The marketing team at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital plan to eventually roll out marketing communications to the large database of emails that have been collected by Purple. A number of televisions featuring important information are also set to be installed around the hospital with plans to use these key messages and updates on the landing page when people access the WiFi.