Healthcare Provider Rehabs Network with LTE Solutions for Wireless WAN in Clinics
Success Story Highlights
Challenge — For this rehabilitation and wellness company’s more than 1,000 offices in nursing homes, hospitals, and elsewhere, wired Internet was expensive and difficult to manage. Cable and DSL also didn’t allow for the speed to deployment and flexibility needed to securely connect employees to critical information.
Solution — For clinics in larger facilities, this healthcare provider went all wireless with Cradlepoint NetCloud Service for Branch, with extensive network management functionality delivered through 5G Ready AER2200 routers featuring Gigabit-Class LTE.
Benefits — Each clinic is connected immediately, without waiting for wired ISPs; all data is separated from the host company’s network; and connectivity and data security are managed centrally with cloud-delivered ease.
Background and Challenges
This national therapy services provider leverages the power of collaboration to help patients transition seamlessly throughout the care continuum. No matter the setting, it specializes in providing services that adapt to each patient’s individualized needs. Therapists use leading-edge technology and innovation to help restore strength and confidence after illness, injury or surgery.
Providing rehabilitation and wellness programs, classes, and activities in more than 1,000 nursing homes, hospitals, clinics, and schools across the U.S., this company needed a more manageable and cost-effective solution.
Each location must be connected to the company’s corporate network at all times — and completely separate from the larger host facility’s network — so staff can access essential health information via laptops and mobile devices, as well as take advantage of modern-day necessities such as wireless printing.
The organization was looking to cut the wires and replace its existing cable and DSL solutions with a cellular-enabled, cloud-delivered solution that would address wide-ranging networking challenges, including:
Expensive and Laborious ISP Management
With locations spread across nearly every U.S. state, the business wasmanaging 1,000s of connections and many ISPs. It was looking for easier management and more uniformity, specifically through cellular-based broadband.
Unnecessary Hardware Costs
Many edge network solutions require several pieces of hardware and at least one USB-based cellular modem in each office, which is difficult to scale from both capital expenditure and operating expenditure perspectives.
Deployment Complexity and Delays
This organization can’t wait around for wired lines to be installed, and its employees need access to the corporate network as soon as the on-site clinic is operational.
Lack of On-Site IT Professionals
With fewer than 20 IT personnel supporting hundreds of offices, the business struggled to manage connectivity, network traffic, and security from remote locations.
Stringent Network Separation Requirements
Operating a clinic within a separate facility means the two networks must remain separate to keep to ensure information security for both organizations.
Rapidly Changing Security Needs
This organization has to protect deeply sensitive patient information and adhere to strict HIPAA regulations. It needed layers of security that could meet its needs both today and tomorrow.
In all of these rehab and wellness offices, Cradlepoint NetCloud Service for Branch, delivered through purpose-built routers with embedded LTE, was chosen as the company’s edge solution for all-wireless connectivity. The service includes routing, WAN link termination and traffic management, a firewall, an access point, web filtering, and cloud configuration and troubleshooting.
"We just ship a Cradlepoint device, turn it on, and get Internet instantly," said the IT director for this national therapy and wellness services provider.
Day-1 Internet Access
The organization gets LTE-based broadband up and running at each location on day 1, leveraging Cradlepoint’s plug-and-play functionality that everyone on the IT team can install. This level of simplicity saves the company a lot of time, man-hours, and money.
Significantly Fewer ISPs to Manage
Rather than constantly dealing with various wired ISPs from one city to the next, this company enjoys the ease of management provided by cellular services that are available virtually everywhere.
“Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Service and branch routers helped us reduce network complexity and costs as we downsized from 10 to 20 providers and 1,000s of connections to just a couple of nationwide cellular carriers,” the IT director said.
Cradlepoint routers minimized the company’s hardware footprint. Each router includes a firewall, built-in LTE modem, routing, and SD-WAN services such as automated traffic steering.
Built-In Multi-WAN Flexibility
In most locations, LTE is ideal for this rehabilitation provider’s on-site connectivity needs. However, in rare circumstances when LTE isn’t the best option, the company can easily connect to wired lines through the same Cradlepoint device.
With multiple modem slots — each with space for two SIMs — in every branch router, the offices can scale up and implement automatic wireless-to-wireless failover if the need arises.
Centralized Network Management
Through NetCloud Manager, the IT team has a cloud-delivered remote view into connection failures and cellular network performance at its widespread locations.
Automated alerts and detailed analytics about data usage at the client, site, group, or network level help them lower costs by recognizing and responding to trends. Also, they can address network disruptions with more information available and fewer truck rolls needed.
“NetCloud gives us a consolidated view into network conditions at all of our locations. Even engineers with limited networking knowledge are able to make updates and troubleshoot problems remotely,” the IT director said.
Easy Separation from Host Facility’s Network
Wireless WAN through all-in-one routers enables this company to keep its network physically separate from the host company’s network, which alleviates the threat of pivot attacks against critical healthcare information.
Robust and Scalable Network Security
Cradlepoint wireless edge routers include a built-in stateful firewall and support easy VPN setup. Also, this healthcare chain leverages Cradlepoint’s web content filtering service, powered by Webroot.