nursing home wifi

Meadowood Nursing Center: Love is Spoken Here - Clearlake, CA

EnGenius Cloud: 24-hour care facility wanted reliable Wi-Fi to replace its failed home router system

Meadowood Nursing Center, located in Clearlake, CA, is a medical facility specializing in 24-hour nursing care, rehabilitation, long-term care, and hospice services. Their goal is to provide each resident with an atmosphere that is comfortable and nurturing while allowing the highest level of independence. Their motto is “Love is spoken here.”

The Need

When it came to Wi-Fi, Meadowood Nursing Center had absolutely no data infrastructure. Their previous network consisted of home routers scattered throughout the building. For a 99-bed facility, the routers proved inadequate in providing fast, reliable Wi-Fi bandwidth to residents and staff.

Furthermore, the home routers couldn’t handle the staff connecting and disconnecting multiple times to the Wi-Fi. The multiple SSIDs and channels would overlap, causing interference and saturating the facility.

While it was important for residents to have the means to contact family and friends and enjoy internet connection and entertainment, the staff’s need for fast Wi-Fi had a more serious component.

“If you’re taking someone’s blood pressure or taking a glucose reading and you input that incorrectly, that could mean someone’s life.”

Martin Wolfe

Technology Coordinator for Wolfe Communications

“A little bit before the pandemic, Meadowood had upgraded all their nursing stations with wireless carts,” said Martin Wolfe, owner and technology coordinator for Wolfe Communications. “The carts, however, started putting a major drain on the network.”

Prior to adopting the wireless carts, nurses would take vitals and administer medication, running back and forth to input patient data at one of the two nurses stations located in each hallway. The time delays increased the chances of human error. “If you’re taking someone’s blood pressure or taking a glucose reading and you input that incorrectly, that could mean someone’s life,” said Wolfe.

Fortunately, the carts allowed staff to input data in the rooms, on the spot. Meadowood just needed a state-of-the-art network upgrade to go along with it.

Figure 1: EnGenius Cloud switch interface shows port capacity, link speed, and configuration.

The Solution

Wolfe Communications wanted to provide Meadowood with a strong network infrastructure that included wireless coverage and a switching network, so they installed ten ECW230 access points, two ECS1552 switches, and one ECS1552FP PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) switch. The ECS1552FP comes with 48 ports with 740 watts of PoE budget—more than enough to power all the access points as well as Meadowood’s surveillance camera system.

Equally impressive, the ECW230 is the access point of choice for high-density environments. The Wi-Fi 6 technology built into these access points allows for higher throughput across more devices than older legacy Wi-Fi technology.

Figure 2: EnGenius Cloud automatically displays network topology view.

The combination of cloud management, Wi-Fi 6 access points, and gigabit switches give Wolfe Communications and the nursing center IT staff full monitoring access to the network at all times. It is also capable of handling lots of connected wireless devices and powering up additional devices like surveillance cameras.

The access points deliver strong, seamless connectivity throughout the facility, giving residents access to the outside world and giving staff the tools they need to provide exceptional care. The license-free cloud management system allowed Wolfe Communications to configure all access points with two SSIDs—one for staff and one for guests—to quickly and automatically complete the network installation. The cloud solution also allows the IT director to monitor and troubleshoot the network from anywhere.

Figure 3: ECW230, ECS1552, and Cloud To-Go mobile app displaying all access points online.

The Result

Residents and staff are very happy with the outcome. The newer Wi-Fi 6 access points and gigabit switches provide a much faster Wi-Fi experience and supports the whole network. Chris Lopez, the Center’s IT director, loved the fact that he could see the entire network on the Cloud interface and could get remote help from Wolfe Communications to troubleshoot any issues, anytime.

The staff at Meadowood appreciates the benefits of having a secure reliable wireless network. Before, they had two stations in each hall that kept them running back and forth, and now every nurse can update the system instantly in each patient’s room.

These results don’t happen by accident. Martin Wolfe has been in the industry for 20 years and has had an ongoing relationship with EnGenius for almost equally as long. “We’ve done just about every single type of industry and discovered there is always some type of EnGenius solution well-suited for any wireless needs.”

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