Speed, Scalability and Data Security – the Delicate Balance for Healthcare Internet
With the rise of telemedicine and use of digital health records, maintaining quick, secure and reliable internet access is of the utmost importance. The multitude of devices that are used in healthcare today – from laptops and monitoring devices to diagnostic tools such as MRIs and X-Rays – means that staying connected is critical to maintaining quality of care. There's also the added concern of privacy regulations.
Maintaining a delicate balance between data accessibility and security is creating new challenges for healthcare technology professionals. Keep these considerations in mind when you're selecting healthcare internet service for your organization.
Bandwidth is your internet’s capacity to provide fast, reliable service to multiple people across many devices (like diagnostic tools and computers, but also phones, tablets, and internet-enabled devices used by staff, patients and visitors). There are a wide variety of items drawing from your available bandwidth, including:
- Healthcare monitoring and diagnostic devices
- Tablets, phones and laptops
- Wi-Fi provided for staff and patients
- Internet-based phone systems
- Asset management systems
- Backup and recovery tasks running in the background
It's easy to see why internet speed can quickly be degraded, especially with new devices coming online all the time. Consider how many people may need to utilize the internet service in your facility and how many devices each of those individuals may be using at a given moment.
Creating a Flexible, Scalable Organization
Even if your organization has sufficient bandwidth for your current needs, it’s essential to plan for future growth. Imagine what slow, unreliable internet connections could cost you in the form of service providers attempting to access or share data. Downtime leads to less productivity and lower quality of care, neither of which any healthcare facility can afford. Consider implementing multiple internet connections to avoid unreliable service as you evaluate your needs now and in the future.
Maintaining Data Security
It’s crucial to work with an internet provider that understands HIPAA regulations and your need for a protected internet connection that provides both data security and privacy. Addressing big picture concerns would involve implementing measures that limit access to websites that may install spyware on your organization’s computers. The small picture concerns would address limiting the number of business partners and personnel who have access to patient data. Consider how you will protect each point of access to sensitive data.
Meeting Every Need
Many healthcare organizations find that Direct Internet Access or DIA offers unparalleled security, speed and reliability. With DIA, your organization has a dedicated, one-to-one internet connection that will not be shared with other internet customers – critical for maintaining a secure connection.
DIA also provides fast and reliable internet service that doesn’t suffer from “bottlenecks” during peak use times. An additional benefit of this type of connection is the ability to upload and download at the same speeds, also known as a symmetrical connection. This is a huge benefit to busy healthcare professionals, boosting productivity and ensuring high quality of care.
Remember to evaluate your needs today along with your needs in the future, complying with data privacy and security regulations, and how you will balance the needs for security and accessibility. These are just some of the key considerations when planning for healthcare internet service that offers speed, reliability and security for staff and patients alike.