Netcare’s new connectivity network enables the delivery of next-generation services to hospitals across the country

“Simplicity, reliability and next-generation. These are the things the solution has enabled for us.” - Netcare

When Netcare embarked on its journey to develop the next generation of hospitals, Internet Solutions was approached as the group’s partner of choice to help make this vision a reality. Our security solution to Netcare connected their private connectivity network to the public WiFi network, enabling Netcare to offer wireless services to its employees across the country, and to connect wirelessly enabled equipment in the hospitals.

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A focus on next-generation healthcare services

As a leading player in the South African healthcare industry, Netcare operates an extensive network of private and semi-private hospitals across the country. Quality care and professional excellence are two of its core values, which is why Netcare had been making large investments in providing next-generation services – including investments in technology.

Secure wireless infrastructure needed to support the next-generation vision

To help realise its vision for advanced healthcare services powered by innovative technology solutions, Netcare needed a wireless infrastructure that could be owned and controlled centrally, which at the time meant securely connecting two separate networks in each hospital – the hospital’s local area network (LAN) and the WiFi hotspot.

The infrastructure also needed to have high levels of security to protect extremely sensitive personal information, and it had to be easy for administrators and medical professionals to use.

Without a budget for this particular technology project, Netcare had to look at ways to use its existing infrastructure and investments in order to meet business demands.

New architecture uses existing infrastructure to deliver extensive connectivity

By using some of Netcare’s existing infrastructure, Internet Solutions developed a firewall and WiFi hotspot architecture that could deliver connectivity to all Netcare employees who were authorised to access the service.

A Fortinet firewall was installed at each hospital location to securely link the two networks, so employees could log in from anywhere using a single sign-on, whether they were at their desks or on the move in the building.

Internet Solutions proposed a fully managed service, providing full support for all firewalls, which would be managed centrally.

A better experience for staff, patients and visitors

By being able to connect to applications from anywhere in the hospital, Netcare staff are able to deliver a more efficient service to their patients. In addition, visitors to the hospital now have access to public AlwaysOn WiFi services, all as part of the same solution.

Architecture that supports further technology investments

Netcare is also in the perfect position to continue investing in next-generation solutions that will improve the quality of care it can offer patients. The Internet Solutions architecture enables Netcare to take advantage of innovative cloud technologies without requiring additional fibre infrastructure.