Study: Wireless is an answer for staff shortages and medical errors
U.S. healthcare facilities are expected to turn to wireless technologies to help solve the problems of rising patient volumes, acute staff shortages and a rapidly aging population.

That conclusion is among the findings in a new report from market research firm Frost & Sullivan on wireless markets for patient care.

"As staff shortages and increasing patient volumes pose an alarming dilemma for healthcare organizations, medical professionals are starting to realize that wireless technology is the only methodology for improving upon patient care in a cost-effective and timely manner," says Frost & Sullivan research analyst and report author Vivek Subramany.

The study also estimates revenues for this industry segment totaled $330 million in 2003 and projects revenues to reach $637.3 million by 2007.

The growing surge of medical error statistics revealing adverse drug effects (ADEs) is - in the report's words - "a substantial cause of death in hospitals [that] are leading patients to demand that healthcare facilities implement wireless connectivity."

The report adds that healthcare providers also realize the need for "greater mobility within healthcare units, as well as in remote care situations. Wireless technology has played a key role in making this possible. For instance, it has enabled the usage of handheld point-of-care applications for immediate access to life-critical information, irrespective of location within the facility."

With their huge potential to reduce medical errors, increase workflow efficiency, and thereby decrease overall costs, the report notes that wireless solutions help healthcare professionals achieve one of their prime objectives - providing better care with less financial expenditure.