Health IT Spotlight: WE Don’t Make a Lot of the Things at HIMSS; WE Make a Lot of the Things at HIMSS Better

by Molly True
March 01, 2018

I had a grad school marketing professor who used to talk about a famous ad campaign for chemical giant BASF that said something like, “We don’t make a lot of the products you buy. We make a lot of the products you buy, BETTER.”

It reminds me in a way of what we do at Windstream Enterprise, especially as we approach HIMSS18. Not just because our initials are “WE.” Rather, there are so many innovative new technologies people will be seeking out @HIMSS – EHR, analytics/BI, machine learning/AI, informatics, payment tech, mobility, IoT, population health, precision medicine, etc. – that we don’t technically provide.  Yet, what we do with regard to network infrastructure is absolutely critical to making every one of the technologies deliver on expectations. So in effect, what WE do at Windstream Enterprise is deliver services that makes all these other innovative technologies “better.”

In fact, without the appropriate network infrastructure, these exciting HIT technologies can’t live up to their full potential to affect and transform patient care.

HIT networks: Critical for moving critical care apps to the cloud

It seems obvious but always worth a reminder that as more clinical apps move to the cloud, the network becomes increasingly critical to delivering patient care. For example, a major EHR vendor recently had a security breach that made the application inaccessible to their cloud subscribers, impacting those organizations’ ability to access data and keep appointments with patients, and negatively impacting quality of patient care. This highlights not only the need for enhanced cybersecurity for the vendor, but also the increasing dependence on the network/application availability to deliver care.

HIT networks are more critical than ever to delivering cloud-based and data intensive critical care apps and services

Impact of the IoT on patient care (and network performance)

Next up—The Internet of Things (IoT) and the growing myriad of time saving, process automating connected devices that are being welcomed into healthcare organizations everywhere. The key word here is “CONNECTED.” As in, keep in mind what those connected things are connected to. Suffice to say, it’s more critical than ever that healthcare organizations’ enterprise networks are designed and secured to optimize the performance and reliability of those devices if they are to impact their ability to improve patient care. The more devices connected, the greater the need for additional high-quality bandwidth, and/or tools to manage and prioritize access to it.

HIT network manager’s laments: Increase everything, except cost

With Healthcare organizations heavily focused on evolving their reimbursement models and how they transition to value-based payments, there is an obvious need for network options that deliver superior ROI.  With razor thin margins, healthcare organizations need to find cost efficiencies wherever they can, presenting a bit of a catch-22 with regard to network services. As in, how can we increase bandwidth, availability, performance, resiliency, security, scalability and agility, without increasing costs?

Putting networks on the agenda at #HIMSS18 (WE make it better)

If you’re heading for HIMSS18, and healthcare transformation figures anywhere in your strategy, the right network technology – solutions like SD-WAN, wavelength services, access diversity, and UCaaS – delivered by a provider with deep category experience and insight should be on your agenda, too. It’s a simple but essential way to make any other investments you make in innovative healthcare technologies and make it even better. Which takes us back to where we started, about how what WE do helps make every other innovative technology work better.

Looking forward to seeing you all at HIMSS. You can find Windstream Enterprise at booth #12222. Or catch our team at Session #85, “Preparing Your HIT Infrastructure for Digital Pathology and Beyond,” Tues, March 6, 4-5 pm, at the Venetian Convention Center, Lando 4301.