Tech In The Healthcare Industry: Guarding Against Digital Roadblocks

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Ron Strachan

By Ron Strachan, healthcare CIO advisor, Zoom.

Healthcare is constantly evolving, with new technologies permanently changing the hospital and care delivery models. Today, medical practitioners are leveraging technology with medical care devices and electronic health records that are kept digitally secure for patients.

Digital communication plays an essential role in the provider-patient relationship, especially in clinical settings, where patients’ health is at stake. Technology benefits patients and practitioners by making their lives easier and files more accessible. However, digitally powered facilities face unique challenges when natural disasters, cyber attacks or power outages strike.

The safety and functionality of medical facilities is paramount, regardless of outside factors. To this end, collaboration solutions, like Zoom, have built local survivability into offerings to help ensure seamless operations under any circumstance. Local survivability enables ongoing communication in healthcare and other industries, allowing organizations to maintain internal and external connectivity, establish on-site safety, serve patients, minimize revenue loss and continue clinical care during outages.

The vital role local survivability and accessibility play in a digitally progressive world

Survivability allows organizations to connect to a local network to continue operations when connectivity is lost. Local survivability can help sustain internal dialing functionality and basic supplementary services to mitigate disruption in case a data network fails and the application server loses connectivity with the storage server. In the case of a natural disaster, vital communication tools, including phones, can be impaired due to failed network connectivity.

In the healthcare industry, this inconvenience becomes life-threatening when examining how practitioners would handle situations that depend on expedient communication. How would a nurse contact a doctor if a patient is experiencing chest pain? How would a doctor at home call an intensivist to get an update on a recently treated patient? Phone uptime is critical in these conditions and more.

Enabling local survivability to minimize disruption

As industries continue to adopt innovative technology, organizations must employ local survivability to maintain direct connection to essential devices and tools. Each organization sets its mission critical criteria – the specific threshold for phone downtime – but it is essential to utilize local survivability to decrease downtime which could result in lower revenue, administrative productivity, and the worst case scenario in the healthcare industry, loss of life. Providing internal control and reliability gives organizations confidence that uptime will continue regardless of external factors.

With this in mind, Zoom is making local survivability more viable by deploying the Zoom Phone Local Survivability (ZPLS) module that allows organizations to have an on-premises fail safe for Zoom Phone systems.  ZPLS can be utilized in an outage when Zoom Phone customers can’t access the Zoom Cloud. Instead, an on-premises software upload that runs on a customer’s virtual machine will allow them to make internal phone calls then connect a session border controller (SBC) with a public switched telephone network (PTSN) access so they can communicate with the outside world.  This critical mission communication is a must to continue appropriate levels of clinical care regardless of external factors.

As pressures heighten for industries to become more digitized, it is essential for organizations, specifically those in healthcare, to build resilience through reliable solutions in the case of network failure.

One comment on “Tech In The Healthcare Industry: Guarding Against Digital Roadblocks”

Technology has significantly impacted the healthcare industry in many ways, some of the most notable changes include:
Electronic health records (EHRs): Technology has made it possible to store and access patient information electronically, enabling more efficient and coordinated care.
Telemedicine: The widespread availability of high-speed internet and mobile devices has made it possible to deliver healthcare services remotely, increasing access to care for patients in remote or underserved areas.
Overall, technology has greatly improved the efficiency, effectiveness, and accessibility of healthcare, and it will likely continue to play a central role in the future of medicine.

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