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Healthcare is a complex exchange between a variety of organizations and individuals from care providers to insurance payers, and insurance payers can be a combination of private insurance and public coverage. Networks must operate 24/7 to not only support the delivery of care but also support inter-provider and cross-organizational communication, inclusive of patients. In this highly regulated industry, patient privacy is paramount and security risks and impacts can be dramatic.
IT teams that work in this industry also have an added burden in that their roles to support, monitor and maintain networks actually do impact the health of patients, inclusive of the diagnostic as well as financial information that supports the coordination and delivery of care.
Challenges and impacts of a global pandemic have added to a complicated system of healthcare delivery and the ripple effect across the entire system is changing some priorities, especially financial, in order to ensure efficiencies, continuity and positive outcomes.
Challenge - Maintaining 24/7 Access
Electronic health records are used both nationally and internationally and are at the core of the systems that IT must support. These records must be available across integrated systems and by extension, any provider that is external to the care center. Any slow or downtime must be diagnosed and resolved promptly. When disruptions occur, it’s critical to understand the source of the issue – whether it is server, application, client or network and healthcare IT pros benefit from the Observer platform with its ability to quickly drill down to the source of issues for prompt attention and resolution. It is also extremely critical to ensure that privacy remains intact. Minutes really can be life or death in the delivery of healthcare information and services and IT pros are on the frontlines to both proactively monitor and reactively mitigate issues.
An asset Every Security/ Engineering Team Should Have…
Challenges that Healthcare Organizations struggle with to keep critical networks safe and working optimally
Keeping Patient Data Secure
As noted above, maintaining patient privacy is sacred to all organizations involved in the delivery of healthcare. This data is highly valuable which also makes it a target for hackers and those who have ulterior motives. Hacking and IT incidents are the most common types of attacks followed by unauthorized internal disclosures and there is a rapidly growing occurrence of data breaches with an increase in the numbers of records impacted resulting in significant financial loss.1
It’s not enough to have prevention and even detection solutions in healthcare. If any industry needs to act like they’ve been hacked, it’s healthcare. This means that there must be an acknowledgement and support – both executive and financial – to invest in solutions that allow for fast, accurate forensic analysis of a breach. In fact, the average cost of a healthcare industry data breach averages $6.45 million – over 60% higher than other industries. 2
Equally important in healthcare is the need to minimize the number of tools in use and to seek solutions that can be used across teams, where possible. This drives resource and financial efficiencies and problem-solving collaboration in an industry where seconds and minutes matter.
The Observer platform is the only network performance and monitoring solution that provides unedited data that will stand up in a court of law. The security forensics capabilities are provided through capturing the most granular and accurate data of traffic traversing the network for the identification of and isolation of a security incident. Healthcare IT pros have the added responsibility to not only ensure uninterrupted application access to the authorized, they must be network sleuths as well. This is only possible with the right network visibility and access to unambiguous actionable insight. Both speed and accuracy are critical in limiting the impacts of performance and security issues on data, finances, and, more importantly, public trust.
Accelerated Digital Transformation
The impacts of the global pandemic on the healthcare industry are far-reaching but one area that has been brought to the forefront is that this industry needs to achieve much needed digital transformation – and fast. Because of the complexities of the healthcare system, this is no small or inexpensive feat. Organizations who do not modernize face consolidation, extinction or may be forced into limiting themselves to specialization for survival. In order to focus on transformation, the organization must be operationally efficient enough to free up the time and creativity of their IT staff to identify and address opportunities that improve patient experience while supporting staff workflows and service delivery.
The Observer platform enables organizations to automate and simplify IT Operations in three key areas.
- Managing daily network and security processes with a solution that provides full visibility and actionable KPIs. This is notable because nearly 50% of all problems are first detected and reported by end users.
- Mitigating risk from change and unexpected events by tracking the success of IT projects and minimizing threat exposure cannot be overstated.
- The ability to solve performance and security issues faster can have dramatic and positive impact on patient experience as well as finances. Leveraging the Observer platform for operational efficiency and ease of use helps organizations better balance daily operations with the need and time to focus on transformative projects.
Healthcare as an industry, while somewhat behind other industries, is also a sector that has tremendous opportunity to adapt and thrive. But only if operations become more secure and stable. There is a finite amount of time and resources available and VIAVI Observer helps relieve the impact of network and application monitoring on both.
To see the Observer platform in action, view our online demos.