For every part of the healthcare sector, the last eighteen months has been challenging and exhausting. An ongoing pandemic has strained the system like never before, and GP practices, both NHS and private, have had to adopt new ways of working to mitigate the risks to their staff and patients.
However, the healthcare sector overall, from dentists to private hospitals and physiotherapists to orthodontists, have had to adjust their working practices, and inevitably some of this has necessitated an increasing reliance on their IT systems.
It has been estimated that global digital transformation, as a result of the pandemic, is five years further ahead than had been predicted. This has many benefits but has also created unprecedented opportunities for cyber-criminals to cause havoc with your systems or, worse still, hold you to ransom or steal your sensitive patient data.
Robust IT systems that are invulnerable and inherently reliable are an absolute for every part of the healthcare sector, and this doesn’t happen by chance.
GP Computers is a specialist in IT support for the healthcare sector. With over a two decades of experience working with multi-site healthcare providers, we understand the unique challenges healthcare faces and how to mitigate the threats they face effectively.
How GP Computers can keep you connected and secure
Healthcare is a sector that has specific needs that are unique and distinct. This is especially true when it comes to practices with multiple locations that need access to patient data quickly and securely.
Clinicians who work over several separate locations have to know they can view and update patient records wherever they are with a simple login using specific software. Supporting this highly specialised environment requires us to have a detailed understanding of the industry-specific applications the healthcare sector use.
Generalists can provide the basics – making sure the printer is talking to the computers on its network and sorting out word processing and email problems. However, suppose you’ve got industry-specific software that is business-critical. In that case, you need a support firm that understands the complexities of that software and can get to the problem and get it working quickly.
The first step in the process when we start work with a new healthcare client is to audit their existing setup, which includes:
- Network infrastructure
- Cyber protection
- Hardware and software, including specialist software linked to Microsoft applications
It is critical to comply with GDPR requirements and the Care Quality Commission Standards regulating IT with thousands of patient records to protect. We are fully conversant with the setup and rules to ensure your organisation protects its data according to those regulations.
Healthcare organisations, like many businesses, depend on their networks, hosting, and cloud providers being secure from cybercriminals and hackers, so their patient data remains private and uncompromised.
As part of our service, we carry out regular penetration testing to ensure that your networks are as secure as you believe they are. Vulnerabilities are quickly identified and addressed so that you can carry on as usual.
The penetration testing we conduct is a subset of the Crest approved testing methodology. We also install state of the art virus software, anti-spam software and continuously monitor to ensure your servers and networks remain secure from viruses, malware and ransomware.
However, to keep your IT healthy is more than installing antivirus. Ensuring your hardware – servers and workstations are up to date is essential. Combine this with an up to date network that we continuously monitor, and you’re part of the way there.
The single most significant point of vulnerability that every healthcare organisation has is email. To reduce this potential exposure, we encourage our clients to operate the most secure email system, correctly configured to minimise threats that come through email.
The other point of vulnerability is users. Attackers rely on human error via fake or phishing emails, encouraging them to click links or open attachments. Therefore, educating users is essential to keeping your network secure. We recommend that our healthcare clients have a comprehensive and reliable backup system. Then, they’ll know that they can restore from a remote, isolated backup with minimum disruption if there is a problem.
In addition, we install a commercial-grade firewall. This can, of course, spot and block attacks but can also be used to configure or limit staff internet usage or reduce access to websites you distrust or don’t meet your organisation’s policies.
Should the worse happen and you have systems problems – whether infection, user error or specialist software or hardware failure we are available remotely 24/7 to ensure you get back up and running and able to continue helping your patients.
Move Your Healthcare Organisation to the Cloud
Data security for any customer-facing business is paramount; for healthcare organisations holding medical and personal data for their clients, data security is crucial. Cloud computing lets you store your data securely off-site, which frees up your on-site resources and reduces your risk of data breaches.
Our service is fully managed, ensuring 99.999% uptime for your applications. In addition, our team supports all of our clients, resolving any issues that arise from upgrading hardware to troubleshooting bottlenecks in applications. We will migrate all of your current IT infrastructures to the cloud, including hardware and software, as required.
Once we’ve inventoried your current IT infrastructure and fully understand your cloud computing goals, our engineers take care of the heavy lifting.
Network Solutions to connect every part of your business
Whether you are building a wired or wireless network from scratch or need to update your existing infrastructure, our engineers have the technical ability and experience to provide you with a secure, effective network to connect all of your offices.
Starting from scratch, our engineers will install high-quality cabling to ensure your network connections are optimised and efficient, guaranteeing a reliable, secure network. When upgrading, we look at your existing network infrastructure and recommend the best options to meet your needs. This may be a new purpose-designed installation, or we may be able to upgrade your current hardware and software.
Our network solutions are monitored by a network expert 24/7 to ensure that there are no unforeseen problems and you stay connected with all of your organisation’s offices.
As a healthcare organisation, we understand you need a full service IT support solution ensuring maximum uptime combined with outstanding data security that keeps you fully protected from viruses, malware and other threats. Most importantly, our understanding of healthcare systems and Microsoft software allows us to keep your business running smoothly, day in, day out.
Interested in how we can keep you protected, connected and running smoothly?