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Patient Data Privacy and Security: What You Need to Know

Bob Zemke Director, Healthcare Solutions Published 9 Dec 2016

With the 2016 AHIMA Data Institute Conference underway, Extreme Networks is excited to be among leading industry professionals to explore how to better manage healthcare data as we move into 2017. In the era of the Internet of Things, it’s clear that healthcare is changing, along with the tools used to coordinate better care for patients. For hospital and healthcare IT teams, this presents a growing number of challenges as it relates to patient data privacy and security.


Because of that, it’s our job to work with hospitals and healthcare IT teams to not just keep pace with technology, but to start thinking about how IoT and connected medical devices impact patient data privacy. For example, today’s connected medical devices, including IV pumps, telemetry systems, mobile X-ray machines and ultrasound units are currently equipped to send data around to other systems inside and outside the area they are used. Protecting the total number of connected devices is a daunting task, but the increasing volume of data driven by IoT introduces an entirely new set of challenges.


As organizations figure out how to best manage and protect patient data, they’ll need to take the critical steps to identify what devices are collecting it, the type of data they are collecting and where that data is going. With that, to effectively implement technology and improve patient care, hospitals of the future will increasingly rely on intelligence from network analytics to improve workflow and safety. At the core, the added visibility this brings to medical device communication, performance and patterns of activity is important for optimizing clinical care and augmenting the infrastructure for both short- and long-term planning for medical device support.


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Additionally, network analytics equips IT teams with the capability to understand how well new systems or devices are being adopted, what the baseline is for each application and even what the slowest work times are by department. This allows hospital and healthcare IT teams to understand the health and usage of their infrastructure, and helps prevent unapproved applications from accessing the network and interfering with other devices. This infrastructure will play a key role in enhancing a hospital or healthcare organization’s ability to deliver innovative healthcare that will increase patient satisfaction and protect against suspicious or malicious use of the network.


At Extreme, we’re focused on ensuring that hospitals and healthcare facilities are operating with a secure network by using multiple approaches. ExtremeControl™ gives the IT team centralized visibility and end-to-end control of the unified network regardless of the manufacturer. This gives teams a means to monitor all devices and applications that operate across the network with ease in order to protect valuable patient data. And, with ExtremeAnalytics™, we can clearly measure and monitor application performance and usage regardless of location or device type, an important measure given the many devices currently able to connect to the network.


The world of wireless in healthcare is constantly evolving, and hospitals and IT professionals must adapt to ensure they are meeting patient expectations and providing quality access to care. If you’d like to learn more about our solutions, please stop by Extreme’s session at the event today at 2:15 p.m. for additional information on data security management. 

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