Advantages of Redundant Internet for Senior Living Facilities

In today’s world senior living communities are more dependent on quality internet than they ever have been before.  Many have made the move to web based EMR software, Wi-Fi enabled nurse call systems, and even offer Wi-Fi as a benefit to patients.  Senior Living communities need a solution they know will offer business continuity in the face of an outage.  Here are some notes on why it’s important, and the advantages of redundant internet for senior living facilities.

Business Continuity

As with all things in senior living, it really boils down to patient care.  If the internet connection to your facility goes down, can you continue to care for patients in the same way?  Can you log meds in your EHR software?  Does the nurse call system still work?  If you’re unsure, you should investigate a redundant internet connection to give you peace of mind.

The concept of redundant internet is simple.  You have more than one internet connection coming into the building set up in such a way that if one line goes down the other picks up.  This is typically done with a business class firewall that is set up to automatically failover from the primary to secondary connection if one line loses signal.

Web Based EHR Software

Charting is a critical function for healthcare professionals and an important part of patient care.  If medication or other treatments are not documented correctly it can lead to potentially serious complications.  While web based EHR software offers numerous advantages from ease of use, security and more, it needs internet to run.

Critical functions like EHR software need to run on a network that has redundancy built in.  Most internet service providers experience periodic outages.  If you’re at home streaming Netflix it’s not that big of a deal, but if you’re trying to deliver quality care it’s critical.

Nurse Call Systems

Many senior living facilities have nurse call systems that also leverage the wired or wireless network to function.  These are another critical system.  If your internet goes out and nurse call stops working, it could leave patients in a dangerous situation.  Redundant internet with a proper failover setup can ensure that this isn’t an issue.

Wi-Fi Delivery for Patients

Seniors are savvier than ever before.  Many love to stream Netflix, video chat with family, or get online to browse social media.  As a result, many facilities offer Wi-Fi to their patients as one of their amenities.  If that’s the case then ensuring you have redundancy in a key system that keeps your patients entertained and connected is important as well.

Enhanced Performance

Another benefit of properly configured internet failover is that it allows you to do load balancing and bandwidth aggregation.  This allows you to optimize performance of your internet and provide the best user experience with faster connections and more capacity.

Setup is Key

Proper setup and the right equipment are key to having a functional internet failover.  As mentioned, both internet connections are plugged into your firewall and that device can be configured to switch from one connection to the other if signal is lost.  Not all firewalls have this capability.  In our experience even those that do have that functionality built in are often not configured or licensed correctly so that it works when it counts. 

Work with your IT team to ensure that this setup is done properly.  We also suggest that you test it to ensure that it will work as designed.


Reliable internet is more important to your senior living community than ever before.  Redundant connections properly configured give you peace of mind that key systems such as EHR and nurse call will continue to function during an outage.

If this sounds daunting, or you want to talk to an expert about what it would take to set up your community, give us a call.  i.t.NOW’s deep team of experts and years of experience in senior living will make it a snap.

Photo by JJ Ying on Unsplash