Why SD-WAN is a game-changer for healthcare organizations

To deliver exceptional care in an increasingly digital world, healthcare organizations need secure, reliable access to information across a growing number of remote locations, technology platforms, and connected devices. The traditional wide area network (WAN) is often too expensive and complex to adequately support these shifting demands. Instead, healthcare companies are discovering the game-changing benefits of software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), explained in detail below.

SD-WAN solutions provide the flexibility and functionality that healthcare companies need to keep up with changing technology trends. Here are five key benefits of SD-WAN for the data-driven medical sector.

1. Reliable network access

Network uptime is critical in healthcare settings, where data outages and delays can seriously impede the delivery of communication and care. Medical professionals need instant access to information in order to make accurate treatment decisions, which means that hospital networks must be robust enough to support constant data transfers.

To ensure consistent network connectivity, SD-WAN uses Dynamic Multi-Path Optimization (DMPO) to gauge traffic flow and prioritize critical applications—enabling optimal performance for voice, video, and telehealth communications. Even in brownout and blackout scenarios, SD-WAN leverages on-demand remediation and application-aware link steering to keep data accessible.

2. Operational efficiency

Healthcare facilities have traditionally relied on multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) to connect data between locations. This architecture can be expensive and difficult to manage site-by-site, but hospitals can streamline operations with SD-WAN’s robust cloud-based efficiencies.

For example, SD-WAN automatically engages traffic rerouting and load balancing features to ensure that networks adjust to meet changing demands. By giving medical staff access to the applications and information they need to operate efficiently, SD-WAN improves the healthcare experience for physicians and patients alike.

3. Sophisticated security

Without a centralized approach to network management, hospital IT teams struggle to manage high volumes of sensitive data within strict industry regulations. Constant threats from cyberattacks and hackers require more sophisticated security features than many hospitals can manage on-premises.

SD-WAN safeguards this private medical data with built-in security features, including next-generation firewalls, user authentication, and intrusion prevention and detection. IT managers can easily apply and modify network-wide security protocols to expand this safety net in compliance with industry regulations.

4. Streamlined scalability

In the past, connectivity limitations made it difficult for hospitals to integrate mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships (MAP) into their networks. It could take several tedious months for technicians to deploy new equipment at each site and manually configure the settings.

Since SD-WAN does not require any new equipment or on-site deployments, it allows organizations to easily extend their network architecture to remote locations with zero-touch provisioning, which drastically speeds up the MAP integration process. Hospitals can deploy this technology over-the-top (OTT) of their existing infrastructure or replace it altogether—giving every location instant, hassle-free access to the network.

5. Reduced IT burden

Traditional MPLS-based networks consume a lot of IT resources due to the time and capital required to manage connectivity from site to site. This decentralized approach puts a strain on IT departments, making it difficult to pursue network-wide improvements. In contrast, part of the appeal of SD-WAN is explained by its streamlined ease of use.

This cloud-based technology gives healthcare IT teams visibility across the entire network from a single pane-of-glass. From this centralized portal, IT managers can easily monitor and manage network activity more efficiently, orchestrating system-wide changes in one simple step. This frees internal staff to focus instead on value-added tasks that can improve the delivery of patient care.

Also read: Prepare Your Network for Unified Communications with Software-Defined Wide Area Networking

The value of SD-WAN explained

As the healthcare industry undergoes a digital transformation, SD-WAN empowers organizations to deliver data-driven patient care with improved reliability, efficiency, security, and scalability. By enabling seamless connectivity across locations without adding costs or complexities, this technology enhances the overall quality of service.

Leveraging extensive experience in healthcare IT solutions, Dynamic Network Advisors helps companies achieve the benefits of SD-WAN explained above. Technical engineers from Dynamic partner with healthcare organizations to future-proof their businesses—optimizing network architecture with the agility needed to evolve and grow.

Contact Dynamic Network Advisors to discover how SD-WAN can transform your organization.

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