Enabling Distinctive Affected person Experiences Through the Pandemic: A Cisco Accomplice Story


Co-authored by Alex Foster


A transparent shift is happening in IT. Clients at this time purchase outcomes and anticipate experiences, however IT alone can’t ship on these expectations. IT organizations have to work, collectively, with companions.

In actual fact, we wish to say we’ve entered an period the place profitable corporations work with a robust ecosystem of companions to convey options to market that ship precisely what clients need and  corporations want.

And as profitable corporations focus their restricted sources on additional differentiating their core competencies, they’re more and more partnering with managed companies suppliers (MSPs) to ship and handle cutting-edge expertise that interprets into desired enterprise outcomes.

The healthcare business provides an excellent instance, as clinics concentrate on delivering distinctive affected person care whereas entrusting the care of their IT infrastructure to a MSP.

In early 2020, for instance, the Household Medical Heart (FMC) of Griffin, GA rapidly realized that its IT infrastructure needed to meet new calls for, in new methods, to reply to a 40 % improve in affected person visits pushed largely by Covid.

Luckily for FMC and its sufferers—earlier than the pandemic had develop into every day information—FMC management proactively engaged Cisco MSP accomplice Liberty Know-how to carry out a “soup-to-nuts” evaluation and replace of its IT programs. The crew at Liberty Know-how drew upon deep expertise, experience, and greatest practices to develop and implement a plan to modernize FMC’s IT panorama, leveraging Cisco enterprise-grade connectivity and safety merchandise.

Now, after the replace, it takes solely ten seconds to tug up an x-ray picture; earlier than affected person and doctor needed to wait 20 to half-hour and it will take some fifteen seconds to start printing a doc; now printing begins immediately. Fifteen seconds could not seem to be a very long time, however once you multiply this by 300 sufferers seen every day, busy caregivers have been losing about 75 minutes a day simply standing across the printer.

“We knew intuitively we may ship higher affected person experiences if we may leverage expertise to enhance the efficiencies of our clinicians. However we didn’t notice by how a lot till Liberty Know-how got here in deploying Cisco applied sciences and basically overhauled our programs. We’re so grateful that we did, as we by no means may have supplied the life-saving companies to our neighborhood that we did, particularly in the course of the Covid surges.”
-Dr. Benjamin Hess, clinician and co-owner of FMC

The necessity for higher safety a motivating issue

The will to ship distinctive affected person experiences—making affected person visits as environment friendly as doable, for instance—definitely drove the proactive replace of FMC’s IT programs. One other major driver was protecting their programs protected from cybercriminals. In 2017, the middle fell sufferer to a ransomware assault.

Within the aftermath of this assault, administration understood it wanted a greater protection towards potential assaults than the answer put in by the earlier MSP. Right here once more, FMC turned to Liberty Know-how, which deployed a full suite of Cisco safety merchandise, placing state-of-the-art defenses in place.

The safety software program included Umbrella, Safe Endpoint (previously AMP for Endpoints), Safe Community Analytics (previously Stealthwatch) and Meraki MX safety. These instruments come commonplace in Liberty Know-how’s MSP platform.

With Cisco’s safety portfolio, Liberty Know-how was in a position to confirm that FMC’s programs are stored clear of any threats. As FMC Follow Administrator Tanya Lengthy places it, “Our programs at the moment are locked down like Fort Knox!”

Delivering high-quality affected person experiences

As well as, with the earlier programs, FMC frequently skilled IT-related points, similar to not with the ability to evaluation x-ray photos, see lab outcomes, or entry affected person information in a well timed method. “Our programs have been down in all probability as a lot as they have been up whereas seeing sufferers. And when our programs have been up, they have been sluggish as molasses,” mentioned Lengthy. “When there may be an unwell affected person ready in an examination room, the clinician wants speedy entry to this info to make speedy analysis and care suggestions. Many Covid sufferers require chest x-rays, for instance, with the outcomes figuring out whether or not the affected person wants to enter the hospital or can return dwelling.”

Architecturally, the middle’s servers have been in a constructing positioned subsequent door to the principle follow. To speak between buildings, workers related to the web over a 20 Mbps WAN line after which looped again over one other 20 Mbs WAN connection to the server room subsequent door. This answer merely didn’t present sufficient bandwidth to switch massive recordsdata similar to x-ray photos.

As a result of FMC owns the land the place its two buildings are positioned, Liberty Know-how carried out a fiber-optic community with Cisco Meraki MX home equipment. Now, this small campus basis delivers 10 Gbs throughput—a 50X enchancment over the earlier 20 Mbs!

Bettering affected person experiences

Along with caring about their sufferers’ well being, the complete workers at FMC additionally cares about their sufferers’ time. They know their sufferers need to be out and in of the physician’s workplace as rapidly as doable. With the earlier programs, sufferers waited in an examination room or at dwelling for a clinician to name after lastly with the ability to entry lab outcomes. Likewise, the caregivers at FMC need to effectively administer care, which has develop into much more vital given larger pandemic-fueled volumes of sufferers.

With up to date Cisco-based programs designed, put in, and managed by Liberty Know-how, FMC workers members can now see sufferers very effectively, permitting them to get on with their day. And everybody feels higher figuring out that Cisco’s safety portfolio is protecting affected person information protected.


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