Understanding SD-WAN for Healthcare

When building enterprise-grade network architecture in the healthcare industry, there are several options to choose from. In today’s world, SD-WAN has become one of the most popular options for healthcare organizations looking to build a smart, efficient, and secure network. Here’s why.

What Is SD-WAN?

A Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is a virtual architecture that empowers large enterprises and organizations with the networking capabilities they need to securely connect users to applications. It uses a variety of different transport services and technologies, including:

  • LTE
  • MPLS
  • Broadband internet services

Traditionally, WANs have been built on conventional routers. And while a traditional WAN works well for its intended purpose, it was never designed for the cloud. Putting too much pressure on traditional WAN architecture can lead to poor performance and user experience, which results in loss of productivity and potential healthcare network security issues. 

The SD-WAN model stands in contrast to the router-centric WAN architecture. It’s designed to fully support applications that are hosted in both on-premises data centers and clouds, including both private and public clouds. It can also support a variety of SaaS services, including large ones like Dropbox, Salesforce, Workday, Microsoft 365, and more, without compromising application performance.

SD-WAN enables cloud-first organizations and enterprises to deliver better application quality of experience (QoEX) for all end users. It does so with intelligent application-aware routing across the network.

4 Big Benefits of SD-WAN for Healthcare Providers

When it comes to protecting data and respecting the integrity of network connectivity, healthcare organizations can’t sit back and passively wait for the right solution. A proactive approach is the only option. And for many leaders within the healthcare space, SD-WAN technology is the answer. 

These are some of the most important benefits of SD-WAN for healthcare organizations:

1. Reliability

Reliability is important in every industry, but in healthcare, it’s a matter of life and death. Doctors, surgeons, emergency room nurses, EMTs—they have to make split-second decisions in real-time about how to treat patients. 

If these decisions aren’t accurate and precise, there are real consequences. SD-WAN increases both resilience and reliability through network redundancy. This results in fewer outages and a lower overall risk to patients.

2. Greater Remote Reach

If the global pandemic revealed anything, it showed us that healthcare organizations can no longer operate in silos. As the dynamic response to COVID-19 showed, care extends beyond the four walls of a hospital or healthcare facility. 

Whether it’s mobile triage units, third-party vaccination centers, or telehealth services, it’s imperative that healthcare organizations have the proper network infrastructure in place to ensure efficient data transmission and optimum healthcare network security

With the right SD-WAN solution, organizations are basically up and running without any need to buy advanced hardware or piece together complex software. Everything can be managed independently and remotely.  

3. Advanced Security and HIPAA Compliance

There are few (if any) industries that have stricter compliance demands than healthcare. SD-WAN provides advanced security that helps with HIPAA compliance. Not only are processes automated, but built-in security features like intrusion prevention and detection mean less overall risk to the entire organization. 

4. Less Burden on Network Administration

SD-WAN is easier to set up than a traditional WAN. And with zero-touch provisioning, you can onboard multiple new locations with the touch of a button. Centralized monitoring makes it easy to identify and address network-wide problems. And when you opt for managed SD-WAN services, you have a trusted partner that can reduce complexity and provide operational relief.

Meriplex Offers Managed SD-WAN for Healthcare Organizations

Managed SD-WAN has quickly become the preferred method for building up a healthcare cloud infrastructure. This is especially true for organizations that are spread across multiple offices and locations. Companies offering telehealth services also lean heavily on SD-WAN.

With the appropriate SD-WAN foundation in place, healthcare organizations like yours can spend less time worrying about the integrity and reliability of your network and more time focused on serving patients and promoting wellness.

At Meriplex, our fully managed SD-WAN services help healthcare organizations by routing traffic through the ideal delivery channels so that data is securely distributed precisely where it needs to be. This means critical data—including sensitive patient information that’s governed by HIPAA regulations—is transmitted via a private network, while less sensitive information is routed via public channels. This eliminates bottlenecks and relieves pressure on your network.

Want to learn more about our fully managed SD-WAN services? Schedule a managed SD-WAN consultation to find out how our customized SD-WAN solutions can help your healthcare organization grow.