August 27, 2012

Increased Patient Safety, Improved Patient Care and a Better Patient Experience

How your network can improve patient safety and hospital competitiveness

Extraordinary measures are being made in the medical industry to improve quality, safety and efficiency while providing timely and accurate information to caregivers and patients. Whether through reliable access to patient records or enriching the patient experience by providing on-demand health information and entertainment, technology is reshaping modern medical institutions.   Hospitals are now the  foundations for complete healthcare information from prevention to diagnosis and recovery. However, with innovations in technology comes greater risk and increased exposure to security threats.  How do healthcare IT organizations mitigate physical and virtual risk while embracing mobility, social media in medicine and hospital BYOD policies?  How can technology be utilized to reduce risk of infection while providing an iron-clad network infrastructure to preserve patient EHR confidentiality in wake of a tsunami of end-user owned devices? Can all of this be accomplished while keeping IT costs under control?

One Network, One View, OneFabric

In this age of extensive network connectivity, providing support for your patients and caregivers while keeping your network safe and secure can seem like a daunting task. There isn’t an environment on earth as diverse as the hospital ecosystem; it is also under constant attack. Over the past three years,  21 million patients have had their medical records exposed in data security breaches in the United States. The risks are real. These types of intrusions leave hospitals subject to severe legal and financial damage, not to mention the damage to their reputation. Virtual risk containment of unauthorized resource and EHR access relies on a secure and reliable network that is manageable with as few IT resources as possible.

The applications using the network are becoming more and more critical to physical patient safety and risk mitigation as well. With nearly 2 million patients developing hospital-acquired infections annually, the importance of utilizing technology to track physical liability has never been greater. Many hospitals are embracing RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to track hand washing and hygiene, thus providing clinical environments with the ability to monitor and track infections disease cross-contamination. Devices such as those provided by AeroScout rely on the network to provide an adequate record of clinical sanitation practices which help to reduce risk to the hospital and patient alike.

The need to recognize the increasing complexity of maintaining patient safety in the ubiquitous healthcare network is reflected in federal standards designed to address appropriate risk management in IT-related infrastructure when medical devices are accessing resources such as the hospital WiFi network . IEC 80001-1 sets the stage for allowing institutions to deploy a single network to handle the needs of the medical devices as well as provides a standard of interoperability for securing all data on the clinical network.

A core infrastructure that includes mission-critical medical devices requires a resilient and fully redundant network solution that is purpose-built for the essential clinical network. The infrastructure must enhance the patient and caregiver experience and provide superior operational and organizational value by lowering TCO, giving IT staff granular visibility, security and control over critical applications and devices from the core to the very edge of the network-with as few resources as possible. This infrastructure plays a leading role in enhancing the hospitals ability to deliver modern, innovative healthcare so the institution remains competitive.  But most of all, healthcare IT must remain a leader in patient safety and the mitigation of hospital risk.

Is there a way to securely manage and control one network for all of your hospital wireless and wired devices and applications? How can core-to-edge visibility be accomplished through a single management interface that will allow IT organizations to do more with less? Only through a solid, fabric-based networking foundation can hospitals become more cost-efficient, improve patient safety, and maintain a high quality of service.

About The Contributor:
Extreme Marketing Team

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