Is wired equipment a guarantee of security and privacy in healthcare environments? What about wireless devices, especially wireless devices that transmit sensitive patient data? Some have raised concerns about data security and the collision of signals between devices, particularly Bluetooth® devices.
Could the volume of signals created by wireless devices delay or interrupt data transmission and adversely affect the quality of patient care? The advances in Bluetooth technology, the advantages to mobility, and the meticulous design of electronics for the healthcare market mitigate these concerns. James V. Brummett, Director of Technical Services at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California, confirms the increased usage of Bluetooth devices in hospitals, but not to the extent that all devices will eventually be wireless. According to Brummett, there are benefits to integrating both wired and wireless technology into healthcare workflows, though wireless is necessary for applications requiring mobility. In addition to providing mobility, Bluetooth devices eliminate the cleanliness concerns of corded equipment. Based on location, the cord often accumulates dust and debris; and may become a safety concern for patients or a trip hazard for clinicians.
Brummett confirms one of El Camino’s main concerns when implementing Bluetooth devices like Code’s CR2600 barcode readers is how it may affect their Wi-Fi network. After reviewing numerous test reports and doing their own research and testing, he reports there are no adverse effects whatsoever.