Infrastructure is the foundation stone of any health IT setup. From electronic health records to telemedicine to cybersecurity to analytics, everything depends on a rock solid, reliable network to function properly and efficiently to help caregivers and administrators perform their tasks and deliver quality care. So, what should healthcare CIOs and other healthcare executives and health IT workers do for implementing the various tools and technologies that make up the foundation of IT operations? Here are some of the best practices:
More security best practices
Healthcare organizations laying out the infrastructure should improve and simplify security, disaster recovery, and protection of data. Healthcare organizations face daily threats to cybersecurity, posing a significant risk to critical end-user and patient information. IT teams need to address security issues all over the stack, including hypervisor, computing, and storage. This can hamper the ability of the team to deliver timely application functionality and is not very cost-effective.
These considerations must be incorporated in every step of the infrastructure lifecycle, from product development and deployment to ongoing monitoring and remediation, in order to achieve a high level of security. Applications should always access data without a single failure point, allow failover of storage access, and conduct ongoing data integrity checks automatically. There must always be critical applications and data available. Unfortunately, it has failed to adapt legacy data protection and disaster recovery solutions to the needs of modern virtualized applications and infrastructure.
The Internet of Things
One final best practice of implementing infrastructure offered by the experts is optimizing with intelligent network automation for Internet of Things technology. IoT in the health sector is here to stay from connected infusion pumps to patient monitoring devices. In fact, Allied Market Research estimates that by 2021 the IoT healthcare market will reach $136.8 billion worldwide, and Frost and Sullivan found that 15-20 medical devices per hospital bed already exist today on average. IT practitioners are often challenged to ensure that the network can support the volume of IoT technology while reliable, secure and constant connectivity is maintained.
Most hospital networks were designed decades ago and architectural principals, along with device and customer usage, are no longer scaleable. The key to optimizing IoT device support infrastructure is to deploy smart automation that will connect people and systems across silos to work together more seamlessly and effectively. Today, with artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, healthcare organizations can expand their networks to help automate various systems and functions.