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The Modern Hospital Network and its Role in Patient Care

Justin Chiah, Senior Director, South East Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong/Macau (SEATH) and Product Category, Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) for Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company deep dives into the crucial roles of a hospital’s network for patient care.

by Justin Chiah

Reliable and secure connectivity is at the core of every healthcare institution’s digital transformation – bridging the divide between IT, patient care, and business needs. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), global IoT spending will cross the US$1 trillion mark by 2020. For healthcare organizations, the rapid increase of IoT equates to a valuable source of data that can be leveraged to gain new insights for better all-round patient care, cut down unnecessary visits to clinics, and help organizations optimize queue control through patient registration automation.

As healthcare organizations continue to build on digital environments through connected medical devices and other IT tools, rapid improvements in technology will play a part towards delivering operational excellence for doctors and patients alike. Keeping everything connected through a single intelligent, programmable, and open platform will be critical in delivering successful outcomes for the healthcare industry.


Reliable Networks Save Lives

Despite these advancements, IT teams in healthcare organizations face the challenge of disparate network operating systems, oversubscribed hardware, and complex software licensing that hinder what could be better connected and reliable networks.

Most networking operation systems were designed in an era where applications were rigid. Today, many of these systems do not support the resilience and security requirements of the latest user and IoT devices. As the push towards personalized healthcare grows to be increasingly reliant on mobile and connected devices and applications, hospitals and clinics are being forced to re-examine their legacy network infrastructure.


Visibility Key to Digital Security

In order to take advantage of connected medical devices, healthcare organizations must first ensure seamless and secure communications between hospital staff, patients and visitors. It is essential for IT professionals in healthcare to partner with network providers that can tailor a comprehensive portfolio that offers unrivalled flexibility and scalability. Doing this requires an intricate web of wired and wireless connections to cater to mobile users and their devices, cloud-based applications and services.

For instance, in a hospital setting where hospital staff, patients and visitors are continuously moving in and out of the building, a wealth of devices are being added and removed frequently. The demand on the network is often stretched, making it all the more important for IT managers to have better visibility and insight into the health of the entire network. As the number of healthcare endpoint devices increase, IT teams need the ability to instantly and swiftly diagnose and resolve issues.

Crucial to the backbone of any digital transformation journey, switches, the foundation of modern networks, must offer high-performance Wi-Fi aggregation and also act as an IoT gatekeeper for everything—from medical devices to surveillance cameras—while delivering uninterrupted network availability.

In short, modern networks worthy of digital-first healthcare organizations should be easy to deploy and manage. It should provide deep network visibility through a single operating system that not only provides ease of management but enables the networking team to quickly determine the root cause of an application or network slowdown and proactively troubleshoot to resolve these issues.


Smart Automation Brings Great Rewards

With large quantities of health information constantly being generated, automation infused with smart technologies like machine learning can help to provide immense opportunities for healthcare organizations to alleviate administrative burdens. Simplified workflows can help healthcare staff to collect and translate data into valuable and actionable formats, streamline compliance-related processes and pave the way for staff to instead focus on patient care quality and other mission-critical tasks.

According to McKinsey Global Institute’s report, Automation at scale: The benefits for payers, this potential to automate tasks in the healthcare industry comes to 36 percent and will change the way healthcare organizations operate to increase patient care satisfaction. For example, doctors often find themselves in a position where they hope they can multi-task when examining a patient. If doctors are able to audio-record their assessments and automatically upload their records through voice recognition, for instance, this would shave off time when upkeeping health records. In turn, doctors can improve their “bedside manner” to make full use of their facetime with their patients and be wholly present, while still being able to generate accurate records of the consultation session to ensure better future health decisions and outcomes.

As we look forward to the new decade, healthcare organizations must make decisions that not only promote better health for their network infrastructure but also ultimately boost patient outcomes—the core of any healthcare institution’s operational excellence. [APBN]

About the Author

Justin Chiah, Senior Director, South East Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong/Macau (SEATH) Product Category, Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

Justin Chiah leads the Aruba Business across 19 countries and is responsible for the Sales, Business management, Channel Management, System Engineering and overall Go-To Market Strategy. He leads the SEATH leadership across all these cross functional roles and is responsible for the Profit and Loss management of the Aruba business.

Mr Chiah is also the Senior Director for Product Category for Asia Pacific and Japan responsible for Product Line Management, Solution Advocacy and Business Development for Aruba the Intelligent Edge division of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He leads a team of Product Category Managers responsible for the lifecycle management of the product portfolio, Solution Advocacy and marketing, and Business Development Managers for key accounts.

Mr Chiah has been with HPE for more than eleven years and was formerly the Director and General Manager of the HP Networking Business Unit for South East Asia and Taiwan. He also led the team who managed the FlexNetwork portfolio consisting of Data Center, Campus and Branch Switching, Routing and Wireless, Network Management solutions. Previous roles include the HP ProCurve product marketing manager for the Campus Switching and Wireless portfolio. Before joining HP, he was the director of product marketing for Aztech Systems, an early pioneer of broadband networking technology. He started his career with Cabletron Systems, one of the pioneering companies in the enterprise networking industry where he held multiple roles on the sales and marketing team.