By Sara E. Martin, Army Flier Staff WriterApril 11, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 11, 2013) -- In a technology-filled world where everyone is constantly plugged-in, many people get used to continuous Wi-Fi at the places they frequent, and Lyster Army Health Clinic can now be added to the list of places where connections are now available.
Lyster, along with the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, provides the free wireless Internet connection to the clinic for its more than 250 patients a day who utilize the pharmacy and front entrance waiting areas, according to Katherine Rosario, LAHC public affairs officer.
"Patients in the pharmacy area waiting to pick up prescriptions often bring tablets or use their phones to occupy time until their number is called. Instead of using up their own data, they now have a more cost-effective alternative," she said.
The Internet connection is only strong in the Coffee Zone area, but patrons sitting closer to the Coffee Zone in the pharmacy waiting area may be able to pick up a signal, said Melissa Church, The Landing's business operations division administrative assistant.
"It is not intended to reach the pharmacy area, but we have some people who are able to pick it up. It might stretch that far for certain devices," she said.
Enabling patients and Soldiers to connect to the outside world while waiting in the clinic is consistent with Lyster's patient-centered care vision, according to Col. James Laterza, LAHC commander, and that achieving a public Wi-Fi site was only possible through the partnership of DFMWR and Lyster.
"Thanks to [DF]MWR, we were able to team up and get Wi-Fi in our facility while patients wait on appointments or prescriptions. This was a positive answer to the request of our patients and it is catching up with what they would expect from a first class medical facility," he said.
Officials at The Landing, like Tim Carter, programs manager, agreed and said that the Wi-Fi was put in as a service to Coffee Zone customers for their convenience.
"When you go to other coffee shops, most have Wi-Fi, and the experience at one of our coffee shops shouldn't be any different than anywhere else," he said.
"We have our regulars who come in every morning and get a coffee and search the Internet before they head off to work, and it means that we are doing what they want. Patients expect it. We just wanted to improve the experience of Soldiers and their Families who visit the Coffee Zone at Lyster," he added.
Lyster is the busiest Coffee Zone on the installation, according to Church, and to her, it only made sense to establish a small lounge there for patrons.