The $1 billion Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center has reportedly suffered from spotty cellphone service since its opening. (Mike Koozmin/2015 S.F. Examiner)

The $1 billion Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center has reportedly suffered from spotty cellphone service since its opening. (Mike Koozmin/2015 S.F. Examiner)

‘Can you hear me now?’ Health officials look to improve weak cell service at SF General Hospital

San Francisco General Hospital’s new trauma center is looking to improve its cellphone service in certain places of the building, such as the basement, where service has reportedly been spotty since the hospital opened earlier this year.

Specifically, the $1 billion Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center is looking to install antennae, satellite dishes and racks on the roof or inside that building that will allow for better radio and cellular signals in parts of the building.

The Health Commission on Tuesday approved a resolution urging the Board of Supervisors to allow a lease agreement with companies including SPOK, American Messaging Services LLC and Verizon to install their equipment on or in the new hospital.

“Since the new ZSFG Building 25 was constructed with materials that hinder radio and cellular signals from reaching portions of the building such as the basement surgical areas, it is imperative that the necessary equipment be installed to enhance reception for paging and cellular services,” reads a staff memo in support of the lease agreements.

“Insufficient paging and cellular services limit the staff’s ability to provide the highest quality care for San Franciscans,” the staff memo continues. “This equipment is essential for daily and emergency clinical communications.”

The equipment comes with no additional costs for the hospital, Health Department spokesperson Rachael Kagan said.

The new hospital, which opened in May, allows for expanded care in numerous areas including to triple the number of emergency beds from 27 to 58, and brought to fruition a nearly decade-long effort to replace the aging trauma center located at the same 24-acre campus at 1001 Potrero Ave.
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