As with all businesses, healthcare continues to evaluate new technologies that promise to improve day-to-day operations. Choosing the right solutions moves the practice or clinic towards their primary goal of improving patient outcomes, but can also help reduce their operating costs (OPEX). As healthcare providers continue implementing new capabilities on site, many are recognizing that they can cut significant costs by outsourcing office and administrative responsibilities to lower-cost centers of excellence who provide those tasks.
Grand View Research highlights that the medical billing service industry continues a consistent growth pattern projecting a compounded annual growth of 11.8% between now and 2026. By outsourcing billing and collection activities, medical practices can reduce their costs for hiring, employing, and training and certification of employees who handle their billing activities. And billing is only one example of how medical practices are tailoring their operations to improve their bottom lines.
As with any outsourcing activity, a key requirement is to provide digital access to the information needed by the provider to perform their service. But this access is often easier said than done. The healthcare industry faces strict requirements regarding network access and the movement of information between medical and service providers due to patient privacy concerns. The mandate throughout North America is to keep patients’ medical information away from unauthorized eyes.
To keep these prying eyes out, access to healthcare data must remain secure. Outsourcing creates a digital networking challenge for health providers, how can they securely extend digital access throughout their growing ecosystem? The solution must not only protect patient data, but also ensure reliability and performance for cloud applications while keeping bandwidth costs under control.
Data protection solutions most often leverage encryption, a process that masks the information being sent over a public network. Unfortunately, this security method significantly impacts the overall throughput of the network. The encryption process introduces significant latency while it creates the “security blanket” around the information being sent.
In most cases, these applications that exchange information like patient records or test results are not delay-sensitive, but with many medical service and provider offices, all traffic – encrypted information, along with voice, video, email, and connectivity to cloud servers – use the same network connection. The process of encryption impacts the bandwidth and latency of the connection, which might be fine during some hours of night, but during traditional business hours, the connection is most-likely carrying latency-sensitive application data, too. Like voice or video calls.
Think about the situation where a patient and a billing representative are discussing a bill for treatment that occurred fifteen months ago. Yes, it’s now well past due. It’s possible the patient and billing office are not on the same page. Yes, voice communications and, in some cases, shared documents, email traffic and cloud-based applications are critical for helping both sides share their concerns and points. The ability to have secure file sharing with crystal clear voice communications in these situations is paramount to both sides retaining their sanity! The right network technology will not only encrypt access to digital patient records to comply with confidentiality requirements, but also recognize and protect call quality to facilitate swift resolution of the issue.
Using a managed service provider to provide both secure data connectivity and voice services is a unified solution to these challenges. The MSP with an SD-WAN solution that has the right technology can not only create and maintain the high bandwidth connectivity needed by the the medical office, but they also must have the ability to enforce end-to-end traffic priority across different types of traffic. The SD-WAN solution can provide secure end-to-end transport for all traffic; be it encrypted access to personal health records or the transfer of MRIs that need a radiologist’s interpretation, all while maintaining call quality for real-time voice and video traffic on that same connection.
Adaptiv Networks is that right SD-WAN provider. With intelligent cloud-controlled network management, healthcare practices can easily expand their digital footprint to cloud-based services and applications with minimal effort. Adaptiv | SD-WAN protects both patient confidentiality and call quality. It's all part of a professionally managed service that's simple and scalable to provide always-on connectivity for any clinic and office throughout your entire healthcare ecosystem.
When you’re looking to increase the operational effectiveness of your healthcare office, a fully managed Adaptiv | SD-WAN solution can help. Our certified managed service providers are available to simplify your network with cost-effective HIPPA compliant solutions to fit any-size medical office no matter how small or remote. Check out our infographic on providing better patient care using an agile, reliable and secure network.