In 2007 UnityPoint Health made an important and strategic decision to create HealthNet connect to support the interoperability among health care entities by providing and connecting health care organizations to a private and secure, high speed fiber optic network throughout the mid-west and the ability, through Internet2 and the National Lamba Rail, to extend communications throughout the country. One of the specific purposes of providing these high speed connections was to create an avenue for health care organizations to pursue eHealth strategies such as HIE and Telehealth.
States, universities and major health care providers nationwide are in various stages of implementing statewide Health Information Exchanges and Telehealth programs. UnityPoint Health was one of the first health care organization to recognize the value of an HIE and Telehealth network in 2007, with the creation of HealthNet connect. Since then, HealthNet connect has expanded, with over 120 healthcare sites directly connected to their infrastructure across 4 states (Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin).
HealthNet connect has identified four network factors that have been critical to its success:
- Healthcare information traveling on the data network is prioritized over other network traffic to enable faster speeds, ensuring high-quality and reliability.
- HealthNet connect provides VPN-level security as well as encryption of data transferred over public networks to meet healthcare security requirements.
- A “flat network” that enables equal access to information for all participants (vs. information controlled by regional hubs), with additional access to Internet2 and the National Lambda Rail for academic research and education.
- A scalable network that allows for expansion – geographically, number of sites, bandwidth, new services, etc.
Mr. Brown brings extensive experience building companies and leading sales, operations and service organizations in technology and healthcare. He is the Executive Director of HealthNet connect and CEO of HNcBNc.
The views and opinions on this blog are my own.