Managed service provider

Benefits of Leveraging a Managed Service Provider to Help Your Hospital IT Team

October 4, 2017

Hospital IT departments are overloaded with slow bandwidth and increased security issues. Hackers are looking for new ways to steal patient data, and as more wireless devices are introduced into the hospital environment, hospitals are finding their networks slowing down. Managed service providers can upgrade current, and introduce new technologies to help any sized hospital or clinic to prepare for the future.

Internet of things (IoT)

IoT is a growing entity and it will not be getting any smaller any time soon. Wearables, wireless imaging, and VoIP communications are just some of the devices requiring bandwidth. With each of these devices there is also the growing concern of hackers. They can piggy-back a wireless signal and connect to the hospital’s router. From there they have full access to any device connected to the router, including heart monitors, pacemakers, servers, and emergency systems.

Wireless technology helps at so many levels, but the ability to secure the connections and keep the connections moving at a fast pace is a problem for many IT departments. That is where the managed service provider comes in. Learn more about how partnering with a managed services provider can benefit your facility – Download the white paper: Managed IT Services For Small Businesses.

Security of all Devices

Service providers now have access to all the technologies and applications enterprise-level corporations use to protect their assets. They can purchase hundreds or thousands of licenses and pass the savings on to any other-sized businesses as needed. This makes it possible for hospitals and other healthcare agencies to have state of the art technologies at their disposal.

A good service provider will also have properly trained staff on hand so you will not have to consider the implications of training your own IT department. This gives your hospital the time it needs to prepare for other integration considerations, and allows the provider to do all the heavy lifting.

Although providers can help with encryption, anti-virus, and dual authentication services, threats that can come from employees’ lack of understanding about what triggers potential threats remain a concern. It is important to talk to your service provider about how you can protect your data, as well as what areas the provider can cover. Some of the more common threats to hospitals today are:

  • Phishing – These come in the form of emails to the employee. In most cases the email looks legit, and many employees do not understand the importance of not clicking on the links. EHRs are more common now, and physicians as well as their staff need to make sure they are replying to the right emails. Training, such as telling them to place their mouse over the link and hover will produce the true path of the link. There are a slew of tricks to try and if the link does not match 100%, then they should not click on it.
  • Hackers – Ransomware is making billions of dollars a year for its hacker controllers. Hackers break into the system and lock the servers till money is paid to them. The money is oftentimes not that much, but then there are concerns about whether the hackers took any information, and if they release the servers back to you, is the ransomeware still hidden on the servers somewhere. Subscribe to the TOSS C3 blog and find out more about how hackers are infiltrating hospitals nationwide.
  • Encryption’s Dual-Edged Sword – Encryption does help protect data across local and wireless networks, but it can also make it hard for normal analytics to find bad coding. According to Gartner, about 50% of network attacks come in through encrypted data. Managed service providers can help set your hospital up with specific monitoring solutions to add another layer of security to the encryption protocols.

Every security vulnerability has the potential to be stopped. Service providers have the means to stop almost every threat. Most organizations are vulnerable by choice. They do not take the maximum advantage of security monitoring systems offered to them.

Bandwidth Management

As the IoT continues to grow, so does its need for more bandwidth. Medical technologies are moving deeper into the wireless world, and with each device comes a bigger strain on IT’s ability to keep up. Applications are needed to run the daily operations, but they are also there to look for faults in the network, and more may be in place to monitor the applications looking for the faults. It sounds a bit ridiculous, but to keep a secure environment, it all has to be there.

Now add medical imaging like X-Rays or CT scans and you have a bunch of high-end video requiring bandwidth. The larger the institution, the more video you will be adding to the network. Let us add VoIP communications and real-time data, and your network is really starting to feel the burn.

Slow-downs and glitches can occur and employees may get upset at the IT department, but they can only do so much with the current system configuration. Talk to your managed service provider about providing a boost to your bandwidth. It may be as easy as boosting your bandwidth from the current 100 Mbps to 200Mbps, or there may be other alterations that can be made to your network to optimize its current infrastructure. Virtual networks and letting your provider take over some of the duties of the IT staff may significantly help your latency issues across all your networks.

Download our cloud report to find out how the cloud can help you.

Technology is forever expanding. Hospitals are looking to add more integrated services into their communication environments. Videos will be part of emails, messaging to medical staff, and some clinics are looking at performing patient exams via video feeds.

The need for a faster bandwidth option needs to be integrated into your current architecture with the intent to expand as needed. Managed service providers have the tools and the means to upgrade your current system to the level needed. They are the experts of preparing networks for the future. Get a free assessment now, and see how TOSS can help you with bandwidth and security integrations for your current network, and how to prepare for the future.

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