Hospitals were one of the first users of VoWLAN solutions, such as Vocera, mainly because of the significant need for effective communication among high-valued medical staff. The ability for doctors and nurses to respond quickly with verbal instructions is crucial for saving the lives of patients. For example, Children's Hospital in Madera, California, uses a VoWLAN system to support push-to-talk features on its VoWLAN phones to broadcast Code Blue alerts that summon emergency teams. Patients receive a higher level of care, which leads to faster recovery. VoWLAN systems allow hospital staff to not waste time looking for a phone to use.
An issue with deploying VoWLANs in hospitals, though, is the difficulty in providing adequate wireless LAN coverage. Hospitals include x-ray rooms surrounded by lead, irregular metal objects, and unpredictable traffic flows of people. These factors lead to significant signal impairments. In addition, RF interference from other wireless systems operating in the 2.4GHz band, such as frequency-hopping spread spectrum devices, can cause degradation in performance. As a result, installers must conduct thorough RF site surveys when identifying optimum placement of wireless access points.