Virtualization News

Healthcare Network Management Crucial for Value-Based Care

Healthcare network management is growing as organizations virtualize HIT infrastructure for value-based care initiatives.

Healthcare network management allows for better value-based care.

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- The healthcare network management software market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6 percent as healthcare organizations continue to embrace virtualized infrastructure technology. With organizations looking to embrace value-based care, properly managing and monitoring the network will save money that can be invested in more advanced technology.

A recent Research and Markets report stated that overall, the IT industry is experiencing a growth in virtualized infrastructure technology that needs to be monitored by network management software solutions. Virtualization solutions have more applications and network interfaces that need to be managed to ensure all parts of the IT infrastructure are working together.

Network management solutions include device monitoring, ensuring that all devices are connecting when and where they need to and are accessing the correct information. The solutions also detect new devices connecting to the network and monitor their permissions.

Network management solutions monitor network performance and analyze how network bandwidth is affected by the devices sharing information with the datacenter and detect packet loss and uptime of routers.

More virtualization solutions mean more network connections from thin-clients and mobile devices, as well as connections from virtual servers and networks.

Network management solutions allow IT administrators to detect security breaches by providing a full comprehensive view of the network, making abnormalities easier to detect. Organizations that can effectively manage their entire network can also eliminate wasted resources by identifying solutions that are no longer relevant or providing redundant services.

For example, a cloud solution may have built-in app security, but the deployed applications may already have adequate security protections.  Having two security solutions performing the same task is redundant and can cost an organization money.

Virtualizing the network with a software defined solution also makes it easier to manage because the network is centralized. Software-defined networks (SDNs) are dynamic and appeal to healthcare organizations because they allow IT administrators to adjust the network depending on traffic needs.

The centrally managed network simplifies the management process by giving IT administrators a full view of the network. SDNs also contain automated programs that can configure, manage, secure, and optimize network resources. This allows organizations to save money on redundant IT infrastructure tools.

Virtualizing the network, along with deploying a network management solution, gives organizations complete visibility and control over their network.

Earlier this year, Extreme Networks announced its HIPAA compliant network management add-on the Information Governance Engine. The solution replaces manual network compliance processes, which are often prone to human error. Information Governance Engine is an automated and repeatable solution that will save organizations time having to monitor each device connection.

The solution delivers automated HIPAA and user-defined compliance assessments targeted at healthcare CISOs and CIOs, showing where network maintenance is needed to secure the IT infrastructure.

Information Governance Engine collects documentation and evidence of measurable security and compliance improvements so IT administrators can keep track of changes as the network expands and becomes more complex.

Information Governance Engine saves IT administrators from conducting lengthy manual assessments by automating the process. It also reduces risk by performing more frequent network assessments.

Healthcare organizations often run on restricted budgets and network visibility, and control is key to ensuring that all resources are being used correctly and to capacity. Organizations often come across legacy systems that perform a task at a less efficient rate than a newer IT infrastructure deployment.

Redundant technology has no value and takes up space in the environment that could be used for a more advanced solution that has a better return, such as more storage space or a virtualization solution.

Value-based performance and network management are significant to cutting back on wasted IT infrastructure resources to invest in new infrastructure technology that improves patient care and has a positive ROI.