SD-WAN Time In Healthcare



The current global situation with COVID-19 has intensified the need for a digital workforce in healthcare, especially in the hospital setting. Health systems in the last few weeks have focused on scaling technology infrastructure to support employees working at home, and extending care delivery to temporary locations such as convention centers, parking lot tents, and racetracks.

Healthcare institutions must recognize that our current experience with remote work is potentially permanent. Take the opportunity now to design and implement foundational solutions that will enable the organization to scale fast. Companies can potentially leapfrog their competition by focusing relentlessly on the two themes of agile and speed in their infrastructure. I am recommending that every health system explore the VeloCloud SD-WAN infrastructure as part of the pandemic response.

Benefits of the SD-WAN are:


  • Scale-out sites: Temporary locations, such as parking lot tents, are popping up during COVID-19 to treat patients. SD-WAN is an excellent solution for extending the hospital's enterprise technology stack.

  • Rapid deployment - The remote location will receive an SD-WAN edge device that needs to be powered up and connected to private lines and/or the internet. The user needs to click a link in the activation email, and the configuration will be downloaded, then the connectivity will be up and the remote site will be running. The VeloCloud SD-WAN offers a zero-touch deployment that is simple with minimal IT involvement.

  • Performance assurance/enhancement - SD-WAN will segment the data track for priority systems such as the EMR, telemedicine, and medical images versus nonpriority systems.

  • Cost savings on wan transport – Healthcare organizations will save money by utilizing cable broadband solutions, such as one gig internet, LTE, or 5G vs the traditional private lines for connecting to the SD-WAN network.

  • Simplified and ease of management - IT staff can, configure, manage, monitor and otherwise control the SD-WAN network utilizing VeloCloud’s management platform called SD-WAN orchestrator.

  • Security - Healthcare organizations are always looking for a flexible solution that can integrate with different security tools. VeloCloud allows the organization to utilize a built-in stateful firewall provided by NGFW VNF on the edge appliances, or the organization can use existing security tools in the portfolio.

Here are the three use cases of SD-WAN

  • Support remote staff after the pandemic: Hospital executives and IT departments are adjusting operating models to accommodate the remote workforce. The challenge now is supporting thousands of employees using a wide variety of devices all connecting to the enterprise network.

  • VDI deployment - Virtual desktop infrastructure deployment will be the standard for health systems to deploy desktop infrastructure. VeloCloud SD-WAN can utilize the current internet bandwidth but the difference is, the VMware DMPO (Dynamic Multipath Optimization™ technology that will optimize the SD-WAN traffic.

  • Telemedicine - CMS (Center of Medicare & Medicaid Services) relaxed telemedicine rules during COVID-19 by adding 80 more services to its list of services that can be provided — and paid for — using telehealth, easing HIPAA regulations under the 1135 Waiver, and changing laws prohibiting doctors from practicing medicine across state borders. Patients can now use interactive consumer apps "to visit with their clinician for an even broader range of services," Importantly, providers can now bill for telehealth visits at the same rate as in-person consults, thereby aligning the financial incentive for hospitals to leverage telehealth while focusing on value-based care delivery.

Virtualized workforces are the new normal

Healthcare and IT executives must plan for a digital world that includes a massive workforce working remotely and the pervasive use of telemedicine as the norm for providing care.

It is essential to have the proper foundation to support the initiative, and SD-WAN is the infrastructure of the future that health systems must implement now to scale fast. CIOs and executive technology leaders are moving toward a software-defined environment to position their organization for the future of digital health.

Ultimately, SD-WAN infrastructure is the foundation empowering organizations to utilize technology investments as a competitive advantage. For more information on the VMWare VeloCloud SD-WAN, the link is below.

https://www.velocloud.com/customers/healthcare

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ABOUT David Chou

David Chou serves as the SVP/CIO for a public academic health system.  Chou has held executive roles with the Cleveland Clinic, Children's Mercy Hospital, University Of Mississippi Medical Center, AHMC Healthcare, and Prime Healthcare.  

David is a dynamic keynote speaker and industry commentator working with clients to transform their business models using technology. He has spoken around the world at healthcare tech-related conference including keynotes for leading industry events and intimate executive settings. Chou is also one of the most mentioned CIOs in the media and well quoted in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Modern Healthcare, HIMSS Media, ZDNet, CIO.com, Huffington Post, and Becker's Healthcare.  David is an active member of both ACHE and HIMSS while serving on the board for CHIME. 

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