Keeping a Practice Safe with a PWAN System

Owing to the sensitive nature of the Medical Industry’s telecommunication needs it is crucial for practices to use a system that is secure.

The Premier Patient Line PWAN (Private Wide Area Network) is the perfect solution for anyone concerned about the safety of their patient information. This article looks at how this kind of system works to protect your data from falling into the wrong hands. Some of the key areas covered include:

  • A PWAN firewall to keep call traffic private
  • Flexible access to the network, on the go or in the surgery
  • Synchronising multiple practices together through one central hub
  • A secure connection avoiding the internet
  • Eliminating anonymous online connections

It’s important to understand the main reasons why introducing a PWAN to your practice is an efficient way of keeping your patients’ medical information and private conversations protected.

1. PWAN firewall

Using a centralised firewall, which only allows access to medical surgeries who’ve been given permission to use it, guarantees no unwanted access from unauthorised sources. Most firewalls work by protecting one centralised computer or online communication channel whereas a PWAN offers total coverage across a network of devices.

The firewall can be customised to meet your surgery requirements, while also serving as the sole point of internet access. As the only entry point for online telecommunications and internet usage, it’s much simpler to monitor and prevent breaches.

Focusing on one source means the firewall is able to efficiently deal with attacks in a concentrated manner, rather than attempting to block potential viruses coming from multiple avenues. Each dedicated data line branching off from the PWAN is protected by this core security measure.

2. Localised and connected networks

A PWAN allows surgeries to connect securely within a localised hub. Regular networks require practices to reach out over the internet to communicate – a PWAN allows you to send sensitive information across a closed connection.

For example:

Communicating on a public network:

  • A practice sends information out across a public internet space
  • The call traffic or data being sent is secure to an extent, but can theoretically be accessed by anyone
  • The information travels straight from the internet to either another practice or a patient trying to gain access to the data
  • There is a period where sensitive information is communicated across a public network and it’s during this time that the information is most at risk of being compromised.

When sending sensitive patient information via a PWAN:

  • The call traffic or data is fully protected from public use, as it exists solely within the jurisdiction of the PWAN itself
  • In the case of gaining access to sensitive data, the information must first travel through a secure firewall, before reaching a patient at the other end

When using a PWAN there is no period where data travelling across the network isn’t secure. This is particularly helpful when trying to connect to another surgery. All information is transmitted internally via the PWAN and at no point needs to enter the internet.

3. Authorised remote access

Making sure only certain people are allowed to access your system is perhaps the easiest way to guarantee it remains as safe as possible. When using a PWAN, you’ll be able to remotely select who is allowed to handle your data or open channels of communication at any time through the use of custom encryption.

By being able to grant or deny access in this way, medical practices can take a huge step towards ensuring that only those who should be dealing with the information are doing so. This means only trained professionals, who understand the intricacies of dealing with sensitive data, will be able to dictate when access is granted and to whom.

4. Versatility of using the service on the go

Unlike a regular network system, where you need to be within the proximity of a hub, a PWAN allows a user to be given remote access, even if they’re not working within the vicinity of a practice itself.

They’ll operate on the same network your practice is running from – with the aforementioned privacy working in the same way as it would in the surgery itself. The process for communicating between surgeries on a PWAN would be identical.

This is beneficial because it creates:

  1. Improved practice response times. With staff being able to gain access to the network from anywhere and everywhere, it should theoretically help to improve the overall response time of a practice. Patient satisfaction levels will be boosted in the process.
  2. Less daily roadblocks. It can be difficult to operate at full efficiency if several members of staff are unable to make it in to work. There are options around opening network access to staff on the go so that this stumbling block is bypassed.
  3. Synchronisation between everyone on your network. You’ll be able to ensure everyone is able to communicate on issues and report back in unity. With all staff receiving access to the same network, there’ll be an overall synergy between members of the workforce, regardless of where they’re located.

Ultimately, our PWAN provides a level of security that a regular public network can’t rival. Medical practices across the country are also using this system as it provides data 35% quicker than a standard VPN (Virtual Private Network).

If you’re interested in introducing a higher level of security at your medical practice, make sure to get in contact with the team at Premier Patient Line. We can be reached either via phone on 0800 048 4666, or by email at info@premierpatientline.co.uk.

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