Federally Qualified Health Centers are community-based health care providers who provide a vital link to primary and preventive healthcare services in underserved communities. Dependable communications and network uptime are paramount in serving patients around the clock. For many health centers, aging technologies have not kept up with organizational growth as health centers rapidly add more centers in their health network. As a result, locations are working in silos with minimal capabilities to collaborate or share data effectively. Managing different systems from various acquisitions is time-consuming and complex to maintain. Network downtime and poor call quality are always a major concern. Instead of costly “rip and replace”, there’s a better way to modernize and support the new wave of digital transformation.
Managed Unified Communications with SD-WAN – Making Cross-Collaboration a Reality
Today, managed Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) is widely accepted as a quick way to modernize and unify multiple office communications to deliver what matters to busy health centers … high voice and data availability, digital collaboration across locations, data sharing and reliable failover to ensure uptime and network performance.
Partnering with a managed services provider (MSP) eliminates the high up-front cost of modernizing infrastructures and provides fast deployment. MSPs can holistically monitor and correct unified communications and network issues by overseeing granular control over bandwidth, apps and devices to ensure optimized operation. When adding managed software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) to your UCaaS solution, you can expect even better bandwidth availability and quality voice connections with guaranteed failover to avoid costly interruptions or downtime.
Let’s look at five ways to embrace innovation without the fuss.
- Anywhere, Anytime Collaboration – When leveraging a cloud-based, hosted phone system, you get access to a wide range of engagement channels – voice, email, instant messaging, video conferencing and voicemail applications on one unified cloud platform. Whether connecting with employees or patients from any health center location, remotely or though telehealth devices, you get more done using flexible collaboration tools at your fingertips to synchronize collaboration across different locations.
- “Always On” Connectivity – When your managed services provider adds SD-WAN to your Unified Communications solution, they continuously monitor your WAN traffic, day and night, and correct struggling traffic connections by routing to a better connection without a session drop. SD-WAN automates management and routing of multiple types of connections – from traditional MPLS to broadband to the latest wireless technologies. You will see noticeable cost savings and performance improvement over the public internet as more applications and services run in the cloud.
- Centralized Management – A multi-site network portal allows end-to-end, real-time monitoring and alerting on all office locations for complete application-aware bandwidth control. This way, you are ensured reliable uptime and network performance.
- Business Continuity – If your health center loses power or internet connection, built-in redundancies allow calls to automatically forward to pre-determined numbers or locations to ensure no disruptions. This is critical when serving patients around the clock.
- Cyber Intrusion Protection – With trained engineers watching your network day and night, your data is secure and protected from data breaches or cyber threats. Security policies can be defined in the management console to establish virtual private networks where and when needed, over any transport link.
Health centers will continue to grow and expand to meet the demands of primary care services in communities. Managed Unified Communications combined with SD-WAN simplifies multi-site networking with proactive alerting, troubleshooting and optimization in real-time. Portal access to view the entire environment allows MSPs and IT departments to self-manage the unified communications and software-defined network for better resilience and security.
Mike Penn joined Magna5 as Senior Content Developer. His role is to bring to life stories that inspire or inject clarity in how managed services and emerging trends can be applied to help organizations operate better and more efficiently.