|SPRINGFIELD — Free wireless Internet access for patients and visitors is now available throughout the Mercy Medical Center campus, including Weldon Rehabilitation Hospital and the Family Life Center for Maternity. Wireless Internet access has gained popularity as an amenity at hotels, shopping malls, and coffee shops, but Mercy Medical Center is the first health care facility in the region to promote the availability of free WiFi service.
To get access to the WiFi network, patients and visitors need a laptop computer and a wireless card. Although the free WiFi service has been available in Mercy’s Emergency Department and other ‘hot spots’ for some time, access became available throughout the Mercy campus at the end of July.
“Mercy Medical Center is committed to using the latest technology to provide the best possible patient experience and visitor experience, and the new WiFi service is another example of that commitment,” said Joan Methe, chief information officer for the Sisters of Providence Health System. “We recognize the importance people place on staying connected, and a hospital stay or visit shouldn’t get in the way of that desire. The opportunity to check E-mail or surf the Web for information will help patients pass the time more quickly, and allow visitors to keep up with their personal and employment responsibilities.”
The availability of wireless Internet service is a growing trend in the health care industry, as officials look for ways to improve the overall hospital experience for patients and their families. “Mercy Medical Center is pleased to take the lead on this issue by providing WiFi service as part of our ongoing commitment to stay on the leading edge of technology, and the leading edge of patient and visitor services,” said Vincent McCorkle, president and CEO of SPHS. “By offering unmatched diagnostic and treatment services like the da Vinci surgical system and XKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery, Mercy Medical Center has embraced the advances that come with modern technology. And while WiFi service is not as medically vital as those offerings, it will make the time patients and visitors spend here more pleasant.”