A recent telecom carrier outage in the Midwest caused healthcare practices up to 12 hours of downtime. Unable to treat patients or access records, this outage highlighted the importance of proper telecom design for healthcare organizations.
Clients who come to Netgain from other cloud platforms often say their provider didn’t address telecom as part of the cloud offering. While it’s not a direct service of the cloud provider, telecom can make or break the user experience and the overall cloud strategy.
In this recent example, Spectrum (previously Charter Spectrum), a major telecom carrier in the Midwest, had a major outage that affected four states and lasted nearly 12 hours. During this time, cloud-based practices using Charter as their sole telecom provider could not access their scheduling system, email, EHR or any other applications hosted in the cloud. The outage had a direct impact on patient care and caused financial loss for the practices as well as patient frustration.
For practices with a telecom strategy in place, this outage could have played out differently. Netgain, for instance, protects clients in the case of an outage by re-routing traffic completely around Charter.
Whether you design your telecom plan or consult your cloud partner, there are four major decision points to consider:
- Private vs public
An effective approach
When working with healthcare practices, Netgain has an entire team dedicated to telecom configuration and design, which we customize for each individual clinical or specialty location’s unique requirements. Netgain’s telecom engineers have developed a process for telecom configuration that ensures performance, availability, security and user productivity.
1. Identify carriers
Based on the locations of the practice, we identify what carriers are available. We don’t partner with or resell the services of any telecom carriers, so we evaluate all the vendors and their offerings for our clients.
2. Evaluate telecom needs
We work with our clients to determine how many users they have, what type of data they’re moving, how much data they access, where their users are connecting from and other factors that will influence the required telecom speed.
3. Advocate on your behalf
Our telecom engineers understand the type of data being transmitted and the speed required. Once we’ve identified the available carriers and the factors that influence telecom needs, our telecom engineers work with the viable carriers, on our client’s behalf, to create a telecom solution that fits their needs.
4. Design a back-end telecom solution that ensures connectivity
Once we’ve identified the carrier and speed, we integrate the telecom into the overall cloud environment. To ensure clients are routed on the best path, Netgain employs additional safeguards:
a. Data Center redundancy – Netgain has multiple data centers throughout the country to ensure telecom availability and redundancy.
b. High availability – Within Netgain’s private cloud environment, we utilize an active-passive design whereby a client will automatically transfer to a secondary connection if their primary connection fails.
5. Monitor performance
Monitoring performance is key to a sustainable user experience. By identifying bottlenecks, Netgain can work with the telecom carriers to improve or resolve connectivity issues, thus improving user experience. Telecom monitoring is done by measuring speed, latency and response time. For added protection, we monitor for telecom outages and proactively re-route user traffic to avoid any downtime.
No matter how well your cloud environment is designed, if the telecom is not properly configured, your user experience will be compromised.
Ensure your practice is not vulnerable to outages by optimizing your connectivity and telecom design.