LANDSTUHL, Germany - A healthy cell phone signal is only second to the health care you receive in a hospital. Dropped calls are no longer a problem for some mobile device users at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center as the recent installation of a cellular-enabled mobile device tower aims to provide increased mobile coverage within the hospital for customers of certain mobile providers.
The tower was installed after a need for mobile reception within LRMC’s Bldg. 3711, where most of the hospital’s trauma services are conducted, was realized.
According to LRMC’s Information Management Division, approximately 50 percent of patients and family members were previously unable to call out, using cellular service only.
“Prior to the install, communication via cell phone was impossible in most locations,” explains Zack Fife, project manager, IMD. “Patients were unable to communicate with leaders and family members. Staff members were unable to receive calls to personal phones.”
For patients, this means enhanced patient care through more efficient communications between staff members.
In addition to the mobile device tower, cellular repeaters were installed inside the hospital to offset the weak signal of cellular service due to the construction of the hospital, which was built in 1953. Two mobile device towers were also installed on the top of the hospital, increasing coverage across Wilson Barracks, also known as the LRMC campus.
Although LRMC health care staff are equipped with clinical communications badges to aid communications during multidisciplinary care, the increased mobile network coverage is a welcomed addition to employees and patients with barren mobile service inside the hospital. Additionally, the increased coverage will allow communication in case of emergencies, such as those with school-age children.
The project was initiated in 2017, although construction just began in late 2019, following approval for the project from the host nation. In 2017, Wi-Fi access also expanded across LRMC to inpatient areas, pharmacy and emergency department waiting areas and well the Medical Transient Detachment and Fisher Houses, which host deployed Service Members and their families at times.