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Top Healthcare Network Challenges

In healthcare, patient needs are constantly evolving. To meet these demands, these institutions are taking advantage of emerging technology which has essentially changed the landscape of the industry.

From IoT devices to Electronic Medical Records to Picture Archiving Systems, bandwidth intensive applications are digitally tying together healthcare systems. The constant addition of new applications can improve greatly improve patient care and also create challenges with the network. Some of the top network challenges are:

System interoperability

In healthcare deployments there are on average more than 20 different operating systems. It’s predicated that by 2025, IoT in the healthcare sector will reach $534 billion.1 As these devices continue to get added to these networks, the ability to exchange and interpret data acquired from each application becomes more challenging. In order to ensure the efficient transmittal of real time data collected, these devices must be able to speak the same language.

Security

Healthcare is one of the top two industries affected by cyberattacks, with more than 190 million patient records stolen since 2009.2 Due to the large amount of patient data being constantly collected, healthcare has become a target for hackers. Not only do applications such as EHRs contain sensitive patient records, they also have valuable financial information. Due to this, the industry has unique compliance and security challenges. Any type of security breach could leave facilities that are not compliant with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) standards could result with up to $1.5 million in fines.3 Governing health related transactions and procedures, healthcare facilities must adhere to these requirements to ensure that patient records are protected. The HIPPA security rule require that each healthcare organization creates a contingency plan to ensure that if a disruption does occur business processes remain uninterrupted.

Connectivity

Connecting devices to the internet and ensuring that they are receiving the strongest signals possible is a constant challenge in healthcare. It’s important to understand that not all mobile and connected devices can be treated the same way. The only way for these devices to function properly is to have constant and dynamic network connectivity.

When Every Minute Counts, Rely On Opengear

Opengear solutions are the foundation of a contingency plan. Lighthouse Enterprise provides full visibility of an entire healthcare network while Smart Out-of-Band enables engineers to remotely monitor and manage any IT issues that may occur. Paired with Failover to Cellular™ which provides always-on availability with 4G LTE, healthcare organizations are able to continue business operations while the issues are remediated.

1 https://www.grandviewresearch.com/press-release/global-iot-in-healthcare-market
2 https://www.hipaajournal.com/healthcare-data-breach-costs-highest-of-any-industry-at-408-per-record/
3 https://healthitsecurity.com/news/majority-of-medical-devices-are-running-on-legacy-systems

Healthcare

Accessing Critical Applications at All Times

Healthcare organizations require constant connectivity to support the applications and devices needed for each aspect of patient care. Digitally tied together, they are constantly adding new technologies to the network which can increase the likelihood of a disruption.

These bandwidth-intensive applications, such as IoT devices, Electronic Medical Records (EHR) and Picture Archiving Systems (PACS), are critical to healthcare organizations, but place a strain on the network.

Opengear ensures the secure, always-on availability needed to meet strict regulatory requirements, decrease costs and improve patient experiences. Proven to ensure network resilience, Opengear devices address some of the more complex challenges facing healthcare organizations today. Simple to manage, quick to deploy and scalable to thousands of locations, Opengear solutions are compatible with any environment.

To learn more about ensuring maximum uptime for your organization, download our white paper today!

Reducing Downtime During Disruptions

Healthcare systems consist of multiple facilities such as hospitals, labs and urgent care centers. Each having multi-point connectivity requirements, creating a need for higher capacity WAN. If one of these points loses connectivity, without the proper solution in place, the entire network could go down, costing an average of $8600 per hour in revenue.1

Outages can be causes by a variety if reasons:

  • Cyber attacks: One of the top two industries affected by cyberattacks is healthcare with more than 190 million patient records stolen since 2009.2
  • Large amounts of IoT devices: As more IoT devices are added, a greater strain is put on the network edge.
  • Multiple operating systems: Many healthcare deployments use over 20 different operating systems which can cause interoperability challenges.3

If a disruption occurs, engineers are at a disadvantage without the proper network visibility. Unable to quickly reach distributed sites, costs can quickly accumulate. Opengear solutions ensure network resilience, enterprise-grade security, and always-on connectivity during a disruption.

Read our infographic to learn why Opengear is a critical component to maintaining a healthy IT infrastructure.

Ensuring Compliance and Maintaining Privacy

The healthcare industry has unique compliance and security challenges because of the large amounts of sensitive patient data that is collected. These organizations must meet the wide variety of  Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) standards. Governing health-related transactions and procedures, healthcare organizations must adhere to these requirements to ensure that patient information is protected. Fines of up to $1.5 million can be issued for violations, with that number multiplied by the number of years each violation has been allowed to persist.4

The HIPAA security rule requires each healthcare organization to create a contingency plan to ensure that during a disruption, critical business processes are uninterrupted and ensure that electronically protected health information (ePHI) is safeguarded.

Opengear solutions are the foundation of a contingency plan. Lighthouse Enterprise provides full network visibility while Smart Out-of-Band enables engineers to monitor, manage and remediate IT issues at any remote site. Paired with Failover to Cellular which provides always-on availability with 4G LTE, they are able to continue normal business operations while the issue is remediated.

Read our Healthcare Network Solutions Overview to better understand the importance of maintaining a healthy network.

When every minute counts, you can rely on Opengear

1 https://www.aberdeen.com/techpro-essentials/downtime-is-money/
2 https://www.hipaajournal.com/healthcare-data-breach-costs-highest-of-any-industry-at-408-per-record/
3 https://healthitsecurity.com/news/majority-of-medical-devices-are-running-on-legacy-systems
4 https://www.hipaajournal.com/the-cost-of-hipaa-non-compliance-2843/

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