No captionhealthAlliance has launched Hospital Hotspot, a free wi-fi service at most hospital and clinics across the Auckland metro district health boards: Counties Manukau Health, Auckland DHB and Waitemata DHB, as well as Northland DHB. This means patients and visitors at the four Northern Region District Health Boards now have access to free wi-fi. The patient and visitor wireless network is separate to the internal DHB wi-fi network, so there is no risk of public access to confidential patient information, says Kevin Robinson, healthAlliance CIO. healthAlliance is one of the country\u2019s largest shared services organisations, providing IT and non-clinical services for the four Northern region district health boards and procurement services to all 20 district health boards. Its IT team supports 27,500 Northern Region DHB staff and 29,000 devices, according to the 2016 CIO100. No captionAt peak times during the day up to 3200 people connect to the service across the Northern Region DHBs.Kevin Robinson, healthAlliance The Northern Region DHB shared services provider healthAlliance enabled the free service after rolling out more than 2,200 Cisco Wireless Access Points and other network components into clinical and visitor areas at the four DHBs over the past few years. \u201cSome of the issues patients and visitors traditionally face in hospitals are boredom and being unable to continue with their personal or business commitments,\u201d says Robinson. \u201cBeing able to connect to wi-fi on their own devices to keep in touch with family and friends on social media, messaging apps, email and other online channels or just for entertainment purposes can be a big boost to morale when you are in hospital.\u201d \u201cFree wi-fi has been high on the list of our customers\u2019 priorities for some time so it\u2019s great to see the new service delivered and working well,\u201d says Robinson. The service was made available by the healthAlliance IT team after months of preparation work in partnership with DHB management. The network has sophisticated content filtering technology which can block certain websites. At peak times during the day up to 3200 people connect to the service across the Northern Region DHBs.No captionBusiness owners or self-employed people can keep on top of work commitments if they need to while they are in the hospital.Sarah Thirlwall, Counties Manukau DHB Sarah Thirlwall, director of strategic ICT transformation at Counties Manukau Health, says Hospital Hotspot offers a fantastic service to both patients and visitors. \u201cBeing able to connect online with friends and whanau on their smart phones or other devices is really important for people in our community and it helps provide a better experience for patients and family alike,\u201d says Thirlwall. Business owners or self-employed people can keep on top of work commitments if they need to while they are in the hospital, she states. \u201cOthers really like the fact they are able to manage their household bills on line, which can help reduce anxiety a little.\u201d'When we get it right, IT is the sewage system of the 21st century'Send news tips and comments to email@example.comFollow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinapClick here to\nread digital editions of CIO\nNew ZealandSign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.Join us on Facebook.Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn.\nThe group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, CDOs, COOs, CTOs and senior IT\nmanagers.