Healthcare Organizations Get a Boost from Cloud Networking

Clinics bring patients and care providers together while building the future of health.

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Cisco Meraki

Healthcare adds up to nearly 18% of the U.S. gross domestic product, employing 11% of the national workforce, according to McKinsey & Company. Even so, the industry has been slow to adopt digital technologies. Now, organizations are racing to catch up with a range of digital solutions for care providers, patients, and those who support them.

Helping them rise to the challenge is a new breed of cloud-based networking technologies that let providers easily and securely share data while protecting client privacy under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements.

Here’s a look at how a clinic and a home healthcare agency are doing it.

Legacy problems

The IT infrastructure at Harbin Clinic—comprising 21 practices throughout Northwest Georgia—was collapsing. With broadband traffic regularly surpassing the capacity of their aging networks, critical medical equipment kept going offline. So when Senior IT Security and Network Administrator Ernest Staats arrived at Harbin, he had to acknowledge that its network “was in need of help.”

Similarly at Mosaic, a nonprofit providing services to adults, children, and seniors with special needs, “the whole network was a nightmare to manage,” according to Systems Integration Manager Daniel McDonald. Each of the 38 agencies that make up Mosaic tried to maintain its own IT infrastructure for connecting with headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska to access patient records and employee timesheets. With no central management, nothing worked consistently.

What was needed for both organizations was a new network infrastructure that wouldn’t strain limited IT budgets as well as safeguard patient privacy by complying with HIPAA regulations. McDonald also wanted to throw in tablets for employees working in the field that he and his team manage remotely.

Modern solutions

Easy to deploy and manage cloud-based networking from Cisco Meraki helped bring each of these healthcare facilities up-to-date and ready to take part in the digital transformation trend sweeping through the industry for the benefit of clients and staff alike.

HIPAA-compliant network security is only one of the assets Harbin Clinic has gained with Meraki. The ability to clone configurations in new networking gear across 24 buildings saved the installation team weeks of work. Along the way, they also rediscovered hundreds of supposedly lost medical devices, which Staats and his team now track through Meraki’s Enterprise Mobility Management system on the Meraki Dashboard online.

And McDonald’s nightmare is over at Mosaic. “Our users love having reliable wireless, and the network is easy for us to manage,” he says. “The upgrade has been really exciting for us.” Mosaic's care providers got their tablets, letting them securely login to headquarters for vital records, and McDonald and his team get simple to use, yet powerful management and troubleshooting tools that free up their resources to let them further innovate.

Thanks to comprehensive IT solutions provided by Cisco Meraki, organizations such as Harbin Clinic and Mosaic are leading the way in the healthcare industry’s digital revolution.

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