At the Interop trade show last month, I chatted with a medical facility that used wireless LANs but had chosen not to deploy Vocera’s popular voice “badges” for conducting phone calls across the WLAN.
The primary reason? The company was unsure about compliance with the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Use of Vocera badges for voice communications has become common in many healthcare facilities, where highly mobile medical personnel are suddenly needed to handle emergencies. The badges, which operate like little mobile speakerphones that can be handily clipped to a garment or worn on a lanyard, help reduce wasted time caused by paging delays, phone tag and voicemail. Still, the IT administrator’s concern was understandable: private patient information might be overheard by anyone within earshot of the devices.
This should be an addressable issue, and as the writer points out, primarily a training one.