El Camino Hospital implements Wi-Fi for patients
El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, Calif., is among the first hospitals in the U.S. to offer high-speed wireless Internet access to its patients and visitors through utilization of Wi-Fi enabled notebooks and hand-held computers.

The wireless access is available free of charge until September 1st. After that date, the provider says the access will cost $3 for 24 hours.

El Camino Hospital partnered with Cisco to develop the WLAN (wireless local area network). The hospital securely sectioned off its private hospital data and developed a wireless infrastructure for the public.

While the public access networks are completely segmented from the main hospital network, they are both connected to Websense, an Internet filtering application that restricts access to inappropriate content online.

The hospital began implementation of its campus-wide local area network in October 2002. By November 2003, El Camino became 100 percent wireless. The hospital uses its wireless network for a variety of applications including bedside drug barcoding, wireless handheld devices, tablet PCs, and voice-activated communication devices on staff lapels.