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Cisco Meraki for Healthcare


Cisco Meraki's mission is to simplify technology so passionate people can focus on more important issues. Clients across many different industries including higher education, retail, manufacturing, hospitality and many others, all rely on the company's powerful cloud-managed networking solutions for a seamless connectivity experience. 

Another industry where clients rely on Cisco Meraki's cloud managed infrastructure is the healthcare industry. Perhaps this industry has a tendency to rely on a secure and stable network connection more than others, as mission-critical factors may become a matter of life and death. 

Century Care Management, a skilled nursing management company based in North Carolina has eight nursing homes across the state. They employ over 400 clinical employees and 15 corporate employees. Up until recently, they only had one consumer-grade access point in each location. 

This had been causing many problems. 

Visiting doctors would usually bring their laptops/tablets which would carry important resident data and information that was unable to be recovered due to the poor connectivity. This could cause major problems had some cases been more serious. 

Residents also wanted to be able to connect with the outside world but were unable too as only one access point didn't have enough coverage. 

It was also important to take precaution of patient data which is why it was necessary to separate public versus private traffic to maintain this level of security. 

Ed Sharp joined Century Care Management a couple of years ago and upgrading the wireless internet access was one of his top priorities. "We needed to join the 21st century", he said. 

A wired infrastructure was already in place, so to smooth out the transition to network wide wireless, Ed wanted to find a cost-effective and easy to manage solution. 

What persuaded Ed to choose Meraki was it's cloud based model with the powerful yet intuitive dashboard solution. "I can access everything from one simple, web-based dashboard, and that makes for a very clean, easy-to-manage solution".

After 75 access points were quickly and easily deployed across the eight locations and headquarters, big changes started happening. "I jumped into the dashboard and I could see all the APs across our locations. It was so easy to use that I began using the features and making changes to the environment straight away".

With Trusted Access, a new security feature between Meraki APs and new devices, simplifies the process of assigning policies on mobile devices. People travelling to certain locations can now get security access on personal devices without the need for MDM to be installed on that device. It provides simple, secure certificate-based EAP-TLS authentication, eliminating the need to setup a certificate authority (CA) or RADIUS server. This new development solves the problems for doctors and pharmacists travelling to the nursing homes. 

On top of this, he was also able to configure different settings for different users and deploy them from the dashboard in any location. For example, he can limit the bandwidth usage for certain people, roll out security settings that stops people from accessing certain websites take full advantage of the Cisco Umbrella and MR integration. Ed can now easily managed Cisco Umbrella's DNS security platform directly from the Meraki Dashboard. 

Since the Meraki deployment, caregivers and visitors have been happy with the new wireless. Even some of the residents have bought laptops to take full advantage of it!

This new level of connectivity has put Century in a good place as they are hoping to install new clinical software soon. Meraki's solid wireless infrastructure can help support this.