Patient-centric healthcare through a strong and secure network

Better patient experiences from the network up

From supporting fundamental communication and workflows to enabling cloud-based applications and remote care, the enterprise WAN plays a vital role in today’s dynamic healthcare ecosystem. Healthcare IT leaders face increasing complexity, demand and risk, and must shift their network thinking to protect and future-proof their organizations.

Windstream Enterprise commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate driving factors and results for organizations transitioning from legacy networks to next-generation SD-WAN. The study confirms that healthcare leaders are prioritizing security, reliability and remote access to enable patient-centric experiences in an increasingly interconnected— yet dispersed—healthcare environment. And for that, they choose high-performing solutions backed by trusted technology partners.

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Mounting pressure on the WAN

From advancements in telemedicine and remote care to a variety of new applications, devices, systems and regulations, the healthcare ecosystem has never been more connected. Or more complex.

Today’s healthcare leaders see their network as a critical component to their organization’s success. Their teams rely on the WAN to access medical records and systems; communicate with practitioners, providers, payers and patients; meet evolving regulatory and compliance needs; and deliver personalized patient experiences—all while keeping sensitive information secure.


Legacy networks are holding back patient care

Digital transformation requires a strong and healthy network, and yesterday’s technology can no longer keep pace with the growing needs of patients and staff or protect against harmful data breaches. WAN architectures like MPLS struggle to keep up with traffic and access demands, creating bottlenecks and network outages.

Top 3 issues with current WANs, according to healthcare IT leaders1


Keeping pace with increasing WAN traffic


Ensuring availability across locations


Deploying new WAN technology takes too long


Securing the WAN remains a challenge

As virtual perimeters expand beyond the boundaries of the physical enterprise network, IT leaders in healthcare are challenged with effectively securing and controlling network edges. In fact, 74% of those surveyed agreed they needed to boost the security services of their WAN to fully protect their organization.1

Nearly two in three midsize companies have suffered a ransomware attack in the past 18 months—and 20% of them have spent at least $250,000 to recover from it2 —so the need to bolster security in healthcare is imperative.


SD-WAN drivers and roadblocks to change

Many healthcare organizations are moving away from legacy networks in favor of secure, high-performing solutions like SD-WAN. According to healthcare IT and business leaders, the leading motivator for shifting to SD-WAN is the need to improve security for rapidly expanding remote operations.1

Interestingly, the industry’s number one barrier to SD-WAN implementation is also security-related: the challenges associated with designing and dispersing firewalls are proving to complicate the transition to SD-WAN. Thankfully, a trusted managed technology partner can make the transition from legacy to leading-edge smooth and sustainable.

#1 driver
Improving security for remote locations1

#1 barrier to implementation
Designing, deploying and managing dispersed firewalls, IDS and IPS1


What healthcare IT leaders look for in an SD-WAN partner

Healthcare organizations seek network solutions that are secure and reliable—delivered by fully managed providers with unparalleled experiences.1

1. Natively embedded security into the network’s DNA
2. An integrated WAN and network security offering
3. Access diversity at remote locations
4. Ability to purchase multiple services from the same provider
5. Consistent service-level agreements and availability

Accelerate your WAN transformation with Windstream Enterprise

Windstream Enterprise offers network and security solutions that meet the needs of today’s healthcare organizations.


Leading network and security solutions

Optimize your network for cloud-based applications and leverage unified, secure connectivity anywhere.

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Award-winning digital experience

Customize and configure your services with centralized management and real-time visibility through our single pane of glass, WE Connect portal.

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Unrivaled experience and service guarantees*

Benefit from an industry-leading focus on innovation and commitment to your success along with no-risk solution guarantees.

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Healthcare customer spotlight

The largest private, physician-owned hospital operator in the U.S. wanted to deliver more personalized, precise and coordinated care—from anywhere. But their network solutions lacked the security, reliability and visibility needed to realize their patient-centric vision.

Windstream Enterprise implemented SD-WAN in an active/active configuration, along with professional hands-on support to the provider’s Complex NOC to monitor the network, provide help desk support and protect their critical data from mounting cyberthreats.

The provider has since experienced a significant increase in network reliability and resiliency. Their optimized network enabled aggregated, network-wide visibility and real-time performance into each location, device and user, courtesy of the WE Connect portal. Now armed with secure, high-performing managed solutions and the support of an elite team, the healthcare provider is laser focused on delivering the best possible patient experiences.

Industry: Healthcare
Customer: 40 hospitals with 300+ physician offices, 800 communities, 50,000 employees
Challenges: Expensive, difficult & static network; difficulty migrating to the cloud; no centralized management & support
Solutions: SD-WAN Concierge™, Managed Services via Complex NOC
Results: Better network redundancy & reliability, greater security & automation, increased visibility & control

‘‘Windstream Enterprise has been very flexible and willing to work within our timelines, which has made the transition to new solutions much easier.”

- Vice President Information Services


Cloud-enabled connectivity, communications and security. Guaranteed.

Windstream Enterprise delivers proven outcomes through the convergence of our proprietary software and cloud-optimized network, enabling healthcare organizations to provide patient-centric care without risking revenue. Our managed services streamline operations, enhance security and compliance, and elevate the experience of our clients, their clinicians and patients, while securing their sensitive data and brand integrity. Analysts certify Windstream Enterprise as a market leader for our product innovation, and clients rely on our unrivaled service guarantees and best-in-class management portal. Organizations trust Windstream Enterprise as their single-source for a high-performance network and award-winning suite of connectivity, collaboration and security solutions—delivered by a team of technology experts whose success is directly tied to fulfilling each organization’s mission.

To learn more about Windstream Enterprise network and security solutions, visit windstreamenterprise.com

1. “Shift Your Network Thinking to SD-WAN and Security.” A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper. Commissioned by Windstream Enterprise, March 2022.

2. 2022 MSP Threat Report. Connectwise. March 2022.

* Required services include OfficeSuite UC® and SD-WAN Concierge™ for all Windstream Enterprise guarantees.

About the Author

Windstream Enterprise

Windstream Enterprise believes people should expect more from their service provider. Our mission: as network, security and application performance become continuously more critical, WE will be the partner that responds to unique customer needs—a pathfinder to help lead them through technology transformation. A trusted advisor to help them connect, transform and elevate their businesses.

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