How to Build a Solid IT Foundation in Healthcare

HealthcareSolid IT Foundation Graphic organizations are some of the most widely recognized institutions in the nation, trusted by millions of patients annually to deliver quality care while securely storing and managing extremely sensitive personal data. Current technological innovations, namely telehealth solutions and secure communications, are becoming key drivers that are quickly growing in popularity and shaping the industry today. In fact, a recent report by Statista states that the number of telehealth patients is expected to reach over 7 million by 2018. As the industry continues to rapidly expand through telehealth innovations, healthcare’s position as a trusted entity will be rooted entirely in its IT foundation and its subsequent ability to keep patient data secure.

Why is a healthcare organization’s network infrastructure so important?

As the industry continues to adapt to the preferences of today’s digital consumer, patients now expect service that is expedited and convenient — and, most importantly, patients expect such service without the level of security being compromised. To achieve these results, most healthcare organizations have shifted to an electronic information exchange, such as electronic health records (EHR), to quickly access and share protected health information (PHI) between providers and clinics. With telehealth services on the rise, secure communications through strong IP networks are crucial to a strong IT foundation in healthcare. When sensitive data is stored and shared electronically, the security of the network is vital to keeping information safe from the threat of cyberattacks.

Related: Easily Enable Virtual Care & Telehealth Deployments

The healthcare industry is also seeing a large shift in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, with 87 percent reporting that they use their mobile phones during clinical practice according to the Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine. This large number of mobile devices now on hospital networks drastically increases the number of access points that untrusted individuals have to networks that are unequipped to handle such a large increase in bandwidth. Although the Internet of Things (IoT) in healthcare is positively impacting patient satisfaction and provider efficiency, having multiple mobile devices connected without proper security measures can mean the difference between a data breach and a secure infrastructure.

Top 5 Reasons Why IP Networks are Best Suited for the Job at Hand

Storage: With the unique ability to use IP-based technology to access storage devices using Storage Area Network (SAN), including file, block and object storage, the choice is clear. IP-based SAN connectivity allows for a multitude of storage benefits, including fewer operational issues and wider connectivity options. And, not to mention, IP technology can allow storage traffic to reroute over a separate network.

Performance Speed: The performance of any network infrastructure is significant. In the healthcare industry, network delays can interfere with the job performance of providers, ultimately impacting the level of care that is provided to patients. IP networks are built with high-end processor architecture to monitor bandwidth and keep connections running smoothly, ensuring that providers are equipped to focus on what matters most: providing care to patients.

Security: Security at the IP network level ensures security for all applications on the network by encrypting and authenticating all traffic. This also allows for secure communications between other organizations, as well as remote access to securely connect to the healthcare’s network while remaining HIPAA-compliant.

Scalable: IP networks are extremely scalable and can support millions of internet connections to help manage the increasingly large use of mobile devices and telehealth services using the network as healthcare facilities continue to grow.

Cost-effective: The utilization of IP networks in the healthcare IT infrastructure significantly lowers operational costs and saves time, allowing providers to access the information required to treat patients instantly.

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