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Boston Children’s Hospital unveils hybrid 5G network

Boston Children’s Hospital recently announced its plans to transition to a unified Epic electronic health record.

Similar to Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Health and Pittsburgh-based UPMC, Boston Children’s – which currently uses both Epic and Cerner PowerChart – says it plans to make the migration to a single Epic platform across all its care sites in 2024.

Boston Children’s IT department is “working hard to make this transition as painless as possible,” according to the hospital.

In tandem with that project, Boston Children’s is working on another major technology initiative. T-Mobile announced this week that the two organizations are working together to roll out what it’s touting as the first hybrid 5G network at a health system.

In a blog post on its website, T-Mobile spoke with Heather Nelson, chief information officer for Boston Children’s, about what hybrid 5G could enable for the care it delivers.

“When we were exploring options to update our electronic medical records system, we identified a need to advance connectivity to help our healthcare professionals access critical patient data seamlessly,” she said.

The hospital was seeking a network that could scale to “support thousands of devices.” Specifically, it’s looking to extend connectivity beyond the four walls of the hospitals to other provider sites – and into patients’ homes.

“Wi-Fi has worked well, but we’re looking to the future,” she said. “We needed connection across all campuses and in remote practitioner locations. The 5G hybrid network will enable this work.”

Nelson said she’s already looking to future use cases where the network can support “in-home patient care with 5G remote monitoring and AI-based prioritization where patient requests are prioritized in the workflow for faster decision making – sending the right specialist to the right patient at the right time.” Healthcare IT News

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