In 2011, the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) adopted new standards requiring medical schools to provide internet access to educational resources in a manner that will satisfy MD and Health Professions learners. Given these standards, the current expectation for wireless amongst internet users and the efficiencies that wireless access will bring, the UBC Faculty of Medicine (FoM) has made ubiquitous wireless access to internet-based medical resources a top priority.

Wireless Access to Educational Resources (WAtER) Project

The Wireless Access to Educational Resources (WAtER) Project was created to ensure undergraduate MD and Health Professions programs would be brought into compliance with the accreditation standards as rapidly as possible.

Engagement with technical resources in the Province’s Health Authorities confirmed the most effective way to achieve this would be to leverage existing hospital wireless network infrastructure to broadcast a new Service Set Identifier (SSID), and adopt a pre-existing service known as eduroam to securely authenticate MD and Health Professions learners.

In July 2015, the WAtER Project closed successfully and eduroam deployments in clinical sites are now part of the Faculty of Medicine’s Capital Infrastructure Program.

Accreditation Standards

The Committee on the Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS), working with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in the United States, ensures that Canadian medical faculties’ MD programs meet the quality expected when producing tomorrow’s doctors. Medical schools demonstrating compliance are afforded accreditation, a necessary condition for a program’s graduates to be licensed as physicians.

The applicable accreditation standard for wireless connectivity in Medical Schools across North America is Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME) Standard ER-13: “An institution that provides a medical education program must provide access to well-maintained information technology resources sufficient in scope and expertise to support its educational and other missions.”

Compliance with the standard is measured in Canada via CACMS by obtaining report from the students on a number of measures including the “adequacy of the wireless network in classrooms and study spaces at the medical school”.

For more information, please see CACMS standards for accreditation for medical education programs.