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Network connectivity—the silent partner in our healthcare system

Reinforcing our healthcare system with internet backup solutions

“During COVID we often had patients in our office—who may or may not be symptomatic—come in for assessments and others come in for other medical issues. And on top of that, we were adding in a vaccine that was new at the time” says Dr. Sohal Goyal, a family physician who runs his own clinic in Mississauga and is the District 5 chair at the Ontario Medical Association.

Dr. Goyal’s clinic in Mississauga was one of the first clinics to offer the COVID vaccine and he had to document the vaccines in the provincial database called COVAX. He notes that the system relies on a stable and strong network connection to be functional.

Without this, medical professionals like Dr. Goyal and his team would have to rely on manual processes to record the vaccinations his team administers and then upload them to COVAX. This not only takes away time from administering vaccinations but also allows the possibility of human error affecting the accuracy of vaccine reports.

“We need to keep track and also follow up if there's any potential side effects or complications as we move forward with the vaccine, so, that documentation piece is very, very important to health care” says Dr. Goyal illustrating the need for accurate vaccine reporting and recording.

“Basically, we went from zero to 60 overnight. We didn't even know whether our current internet would be able to handle it in terms of the volume of patients and documentation.  Considering the lineups that were happening all over the country we were worried if we’d need to document outside the office or even in the parking lot.”

“I reached out to Rogers to ask what kind of support would be possible and they asked what we needed.”

During these early stages of vaccine administration, Dr. Goyal understood the complexities “I reached out to Rogers to ask what kind of support would be possible.”

His initial setup was a modem providing his office with WiFi through a LAN connection from another internet provider. He was concerned about whether that signal would extend outside the building, and what might happen if he had an outage. Rogers provided Wireless Business Internet through a Cradlepoint modem that offered separate, wireless internet connection that can be used as a back-up.

“When the system is functioning fine, everything runs well—you don't have to think about it.” However, setbacks can cause a lot of frustration and stress—particularly at a time of high general anxiety and when clinic staff are already stretched and working overtime.

Dr. Goyal’s concerns were realized as the clinic’s primary connection went down and his team experienced their first outage “And of course, it had to happen on a very busy day, when we had about 150 people waiting for vaccinations.” Paper backup is daunting, both because of the delay caused by manual documentation and “because people may be a little bit upset that they don't have that instant proof. Not to mention having to stay after hours to document 150 vaccines—which would take a long time.”

With the Wireless Business Internet modem from Rogers and Cradlepoint, Dr. Goyal had his internet and systems back up and running right away. No one wants an outage, but Dr. Goyal was impressed with how easy and quickly he was able to get back up and running.

Whether he is talking to vaccine-hesitant patients or trying to schedule around vaccine shortages or looming expiry dates, practitioners like Dr. Goyal “can’t have anything go wrong in the back end. It creates increased stress for us and takes time away from serving patients.”

Rogers for Business is proud to help healthcare and front-line workers like Dr. Goyal and his team. To find out more about Covid-19 vaccines, click here to be re-directed to Government of Canada’s public health page. Click here to learn more about how 5G wireless technology could change the face of healthcare delivery