Information is literally the lifeblood of nearly every organization. And for the healthcare industry in particular, ensuring the uninterrupted flow of information is absolutely critical for the effective diagnosis and treatment of patients.
While digital transformation (DX) has become an imperative across nearly every business sector, no industry is more profoundly impacted than healthcare because of the affect these changes are expected to have on the health and well-being of each and every one of us. The transformation that is taking place promises to enhance healthcare service provision - from diagnosis to post-care - while improving the relationship between patients, caregivers, and other stakeholders.
Digital services are already a vital component of healthcare, covering electronic medical records (EMR), electronic health records (EHR), digital imaging, e-prescription services and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. As DX initiatives continue to proliferate, many of today’s manual processes will become automated, autonomous, and ultimately more efficient - improving the patient experience and reducing costs.
Disruption to Digital Services is Simply Unacceptable
As wireless (Wi-Fi) connectivity becomes ubiquitous across the healthcare environment, providers are increasingly able to deliver improvements in clinical services. In addition to enabling access to life-critical information such as EMRs and EHRs, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies will support Wi-Fi patient monitoring devices, ‘smart’ beds and remote access to x-rays and scans in real time.
DX holds the potential to completely reimagine many aspects of the daily practice of medical care. By bringing the digital and physical worlds together, the vast amount of data provided will reshape both patient and care team behavior. Of course, integrating digital services with existing clinical processes, infrastructure and tools adds a significant level of complexity. Healthcare IT is under pressure to ensure that networks and applications have the agility and speed to meet the growing needs of all stakeholders. Any disruption to services is simply unacceptable.
As patient outcomes are increasingly dependent on the uninterrupted and secure flow of information to deliver the proper diagnosis and treatment, service assurance is taking center stage. Healthcare IT professionals are seeing the virtue of leveraging traffic data as a means to continuously monitor performance, using real-time actionable insight to assure service delivery and provide comprehensive reporting to different functions within the organization. As digital transformation takes hold across the healthcare industry, IT is able to employ data sources such as synthetic transactions or NetFlow to gain end-to-end visibility - from the physical and virtual data center to the network edge and cloud.
DX Is Helping to Meet Healthcare Expectations
The healthcare industry has taken important steps to foster DX initiatives. The introduction of Health Level 7 (HL-7), an internationally agreed upon set of protocols, is helping to promote global health data interoperability between different computer systems. These standards will facilitate the transmission and exchange of information between healthcare providers, making it easier to deliver a host of critical care services.
As a result, many providers are now improving patient care by adopting a variety of applications that rely on trouble-free, real-time access to information in their IT environment.
Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives, Wi-Fi expansion, secure email systems, unified communications (UC) and voice-over-IP (VoIP) coupled with telemedicine are all taxing network resource capacity, making service assurance a critical need. To support DX initiatives, healthcare organizations need business analytics powered by smart data that is well-structured, contextual, available in real-time, and based on end-to-end pervasive visibility across the entire healthcare organization. NETSCOUT service assurance solutions provide continuous monitoring of traffic-based data and real-time analytics, enabling healthcare IT to support the critical mission of achieving successful patient outcomes and meeting healthcare expectations.
For a more in-depth look at how DX is impacting the healthcare industry, download the NETSCOUT white paper, Assuring the Enterprise in the Digital Era – Healthcare, by clicking here.
~Written by David Pitlik, Content Creator, Speechwriter, Technology Consultant