Healthcare organizations are constantly looking at ways to improve patient outcomes, reduce costs, and enhance access to care. The organization’s network infrastructure largely drives the success of these goals. While the adoption of health IT tools such as Electronic Health Records (EHR) and telehealth is widespread, they make a meaningful impact only if they are interoperable and interconnected with other providers/back office systems in the healthcare system. With the first engagement and non-emergency point-of-care moving away from large hospital systems, it is essential that patient data be accessible quickly and on a real-time basis. For many such distributed healthcare sites – private practices (physicians and dentists), retail clinics, community pharmacies (independent and chains), and labs (physician office labs, independent labs and other local labs) – application performance and Wi-Fi reliability are critical to the success of a thriving practice.
Telehealth and EHRs Enable Scalability; Robust Network Drives Meaningful Outcome
Nearly 49.2% of a doctor’s office day is spent on desk work. With insufficient time to focus on clinical tasks, telehealth creates an opportunity for care providers to expand their revenue stream by extending care to remote patients. Similarly, EHRs allow care providers to make better-informed decisions and quickly share information with other providers to improve the overall health outcome of patients. Usage of these tools results in higher practice efficiencies by automating and streamlining the care provider’s workflow.
As of 2017, nearly 9 in 10 (86%) office-based physicians were using EHR. While this validates that healthcare is not lagging in digital adoption, it is important to consider what drives meaningful outputs from the usage of these tools.
Proper functioning of telehealth, EHRs and other digital initiatives depends on the reliability of the network upon which these tools reside. Network performance, abundant bandwidth, and crystal clear voice/video are critical success factors. Distributed points of care, being much smaller than hospital systems, may not have sufficient funds for investment in this kind of a network infrastructure. In addition, network maintenance may need skilled resources on site. How can medical facilities overcome these challenges?
Managed SD-WAN is the Cure for Network Issues
SD-WAN solutions support the healthcare network by providing higher network and application availability, and by adding network flexibility to the infrastructure. What this means for distributed points of care is that even when there is network congestion, high bandwidth applications like telehealth continue to run seamlessly with crystal clear voice/video. It also means that there is failover protection from network outages, no lost point-of-sale transactions or no dropped calls when care providers are getting information from patients, insurers, and other related providers in the patient’s healthcare ecosystems.
SD-WAN enables fast and direct access to cloud-based services. For healthcare providers, it means that they can enjoy and pass on the benefits of EHR interoperability – the last mile in EHR adoption – as well as other low latency applications.
While legacy networks have prohibitively high costs, managed SD-WAN is an affordable and scalable solution. It comes with lower and more predictable fees and does not require any skilled IT resources on site. With Managed SD-WAN solutions, certified network service providers are responsible for complete installation and network maintenance, and site turn up is quick and simple. Care providers can add digital tools and applications, new sites, more staff, and more patients without having to worry about network performance or bandwidth.
How Does Adaptiv | SD-WAN Support Healthcare Digital Goals?
Adaptiv | SD-WAN provides a secure, reliable, and professionally managed high-speed network that frees up healthcare providers so that they can focus on caring for their patients instead of worrying about their network. Adaptiv | SD-WAN runs on low-cost broadband connections that are locally available and is a cost-effective solution that enables healthcare providers to embrace digital transformation. In addition, providers do not have to wait for weeks or even months for the big carriers to install dedicated access circuits. Adaptiv | SD-WAN installations are done remotely and require minimal onsite IT skills.
Whether you’re looking to build a connected healthcare office or save on operational costs, a fully managed Adaptiv | SD-WAN solution can help. Adaptiv Networks partners with numerous service providers, helping to revolutionize networks and improve experiences for staff and patients. If your network is holding you back, contact us to start planning today!