If we experience an Internet outage, it essentially puts us out of business in providing care. This can be life-threatening when dealing with the often serious medical issues of the population we serve. Ecessa’s PowerLink™ is especially helpful for us, as we need the flexibility to provide healthcare any place, any time.
Doctors, nurses and other practitioners are increasingly turning to mobile devices and big data to improve patient care. Wearable and connected devices are making their way into regular practices,creating incredible efficiency, helping to scale services and improving patient care and outcomes. But, along with all of the positive implications, institutions have a need for more network bandwidth more than ever.
The mobile device trend, while first appearing in the consumer and business sectors, has since expanded into healthcare as well. In fact, a study done by Gartner shows healthcare is leading the adoption of the Internet of Things– connecting devices as well as people– which will grow to 26 billion units installed and connected by 2020.
According to Mobi Health News, a HIMSS survey found that 69 percent of healthcare providers leverage mobile devices as a means to view patient information. An additional 36 percent use handheld hardware endpoints to gather this information from patients at their bedsides. The study also found that using smartphones and tablets to look up other health information and educate staff members was also popular among healthcare workers. Overall, nearly 65 percent use their mobile devices for looking up non-patient health data, and more than 48 percent leverage these endpoints for training purposes.
Mobile endpoints aren’t the only technological advancement seen in today’s healthcare organizations. A Ponemon Institute study found that in 2012, 30 percent of all the data existing in the world belonged to the healthcare industry, according to Building Better Healthcare. And the use of mobile devices, big data and remotely hosted applications has only increased since then.
Due to the rising collection and use of data in the healthcare industry and the adoption of electronic data records and electronic health records, half of Ponemon Institute survey respondents said they were looking to expand their storage systems by one terabyte or more within the year.
“This means healthcare organizations are increasingly reliant on digital storage and technology that ensures constant connectivity, accessibility of the information and their preparedness for a disaster,” Building Better Healthcare contributor Jim Gerrity wrote in Health networks – delivering the future of healthcare.
As big data, mobile devices and remote apps continue to permeate the healthcare industry, one thing becomes abundantly clear: institutions are utilizing more network resources than ever. If available bandwidth can’t meet the demand, application performance of suffers.
Decision-makers in the healthcare industry should take an in-depth look at their network and not only work to increase bandwidth where necessary, but leverage several diverse communication links to ensure the best performing — always performing — network. Institution leaders also need to be prepared for the worst. A software-defined wide area network can provide critical connectivity backup, ensuring that if one connection goes down, there is another ready and waiting to handle user traffic. It’s not just about having a standby backup link, it’s hard working links, each sharing the traffic load. And, in case of a disaster, like a backhoe cutting a line or a provider technical failure, priority traffic isn’t impacted. It keeps on flowing through the good links.
The bottom line? In today’s world, it’s not good enough to just have abundant bandwidth and multiple links, health care organizations need those resources optimized for “never down” performance.
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