4/26/2018

Why wait to develop an ideal healthcare infrastructure?

Optimizing the care pathway

It is impossible to provide healthcare today without technology being involved. Technology affects everything - from how doctors interact with patients, to the way medical data is accessed and used, to the role of robotics in surgery. The latest technology – such as wearable devices, smart connected implants and the Internet of Things (IoT) – is making its way into hospitals, clinics and aged care homes too. 

Healthcare has entered a new era where it is driven by a digital transformation and a range of advances. By deploying advanced technology, your healthcare network is better able to support the delivery of care for patients, to keep them safer, provide better engagement with patients which ultimately can lead to improved health outcomes. 

Consolidate your resources
The first step is to reduce the numerous disparate networks that are deployed in various parts of your healthcare facilities by deploying a single network infrastructure for all IT and communication systems, segmented into multiple, secure, virtual networks. This will improve the use of resources while optimizing processes to enable the best quality of care, while reducing costs and improving workflow efficiency. 

Healthcare medical staff connected

This single network approach can provide an always-on, high-performing wired and wireless connectivity experience for clinicians, patients and visitors. 

Turn challenges into opportunities
With new technology comes challenges and opportunities. The past few years has seen an acceleration of changes related to mobility and the use of the cloud, an explosion of new “things” (IoT) that can be controlled over the internet, and with it, an increase in cybercrime that takes advantage of these new technologies.

Mobility and cloud access - Wireless access to data and information maintained in the cloud on a mobile device is a game changer in healthcare, increasing availability of data for patients, clinicians and administration alike. For example:

• 80% of doctors now use smartphones and medical apps, 72% use them to access drug info; 65% of all interactions with health care facilities occur via mobile devices1
• With EMRs in the cloud, care givers and patients can access test results and other information 24/7 
• In hospitals, new technologies are now “mobile first,” requiring a very resilient, low latency, high bandwidth network for greater connectivity
• 82% of healthcare professions said their network Wi-Fi is business critical, yet 54% identified Wi-Fi coverage as a challenge, and 65% believe there are areas of poor coverage within their hospital2

Healthcare industry challenges Infographic - Thumbnail

Internet of Things (IoT) - Healthcare facilities are increasingly taking advantage of connected devices to improve outcomes and patient engagements. These IoT systems range from connected medical devices such as MRI and CT scanners, wearable medical devices and remote patient monitors, to video security cameras and electronic ID-enabled security doors. 

Cybercrime - Hacking into data networks is a major concern for healthcare organizations: Life sciences and healthcare organizations experience 340 percent more security incidents than the average industry.3  One of greatest threats is ransomware: The massive Wannacry cyberattack infiltrated hospital networks across Europe and North America in 2017, and stopped work for days at 16 NHS hospitals in Britain.4

To learn more about the 4 major digital challenges for the Healthcare industry, download the infographics.

Healthcare IoT systems are especially vulnerable to hacking, as the proliferation of sensors and connected devices greatly expands the network attack surface. IoT for healthcare is especially susceptible because many IoT devices are manufactured without security in mind, or built by companies that don’t understand network security requirements. Consequently, IoT systems are increasingly the weak link in hospital, clinic and care facility cyber security. 

The digital transformation of healthcare

Digital transformation has the potential to redefine how people, technology and devices interact and connect with each other in healthcare environments. By bringing together the major technical and business trends of mobility, automation and data analytics, digital transformation can:

• Enable a superior healing experience for patients, improving care and outcomes
• Help clinical and administrative staff deliver safer, timely, and higher quality care.
• Support new care approaches and solutions to make care delivery less expensive, more efficient, more secure and accessible, to enable an optimized care pathway. 

Digital transformation and innovation - To attain the medical and business advantages that powerful technology can provide, today’s hospitals, clinics and medical facilities must integrate digital innovations in mobility, data analytics, cloud computing and IoT into existing medical, business and computing systems. This process, known as digital transformation, delivers many benefits, enabling healthcare organizations to create more efficient processes, provide differentiated services, deliver better care, increase revenues and reduce costs. 
The network infrastructure of healthcare organizations is the foundation for digital transformation, because robust, secure and resilient connectivity is the vital component for optimizing the care pathway across the healthcare ecosystem. The network lays the groundwork for delivering the data, communications, applications, mobility and IoT connectivity that can ultimately drive outstanding patient care and improve outcomes.

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise provides the solutions you are seeking
A high-performing converged network is the foundation for delivering data, communications, applications, mobility and IoT connectivity that drives improved information, data flows and processes, for tomorrow’s clinics, hospitals and healthcare facilities.

A healthcare infrastructure built with ALE solutions and technologies helps enable optimized care pathways for patients, clinicians or administrative staff. Its single network infrastructure approach delivers reduced IT operating expenses, a more rapid deployment time and increased investment protection.

ALE network and communication products and technologies for healthcare provide solutions that are reliable, secure, high-performing and resilient, allowing care providers to focus on what matters most—their patients. 

To learn more about addressing the technology challenges facing your healthcare organization, download a complimentary paper:
Connecting the healthcare ecosystem to optimize the care pathway

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  1Is Mobile Healthcare the Future?
  2Mobility Strategies In Healthcare Survey
  32018 Global and US health care outlook
  4Hacked Cameras Were Behind Friday's Massive Web Outage

Tags - Healthcare

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About the author
Nicole Hill

Nicole Hill

Global Director, Healthcare Sector, ALE

Nicole is responsible for leading the worldwide Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Healthcare business.

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