Located in rural southwestern Tennessee, Lifespan Health has had to overcome distinct challenges to deliver high-quality, affordable care to its community. Serving a small, geographically dispersed population, many without reliable connectivity, Lifespan Health had to find creative ways to offer a full range of health services that met people’s diverse needs.
Since joining Lifespan Health in 2005 as its Chief Operations Officer, Matt McGinley has been leveraging technology to overcome these hurdles and deliver better care for less money. “When I started, we were mainly providing primary care services,” he says.
Mr. McGinley Added, “Technology has enabled us to greatly expand our service offerings and we now we offer a full gamut of medical and behavioral health services.”
Mr. McGinley shared three ways technology has empowered Lifespan Health to offer better care, promote patient security, and run its operations more smoothly.
1. A reliable technology partner reduces administrative burden
Lifespan Health’s frustrating experience with its first broadband provider revealed the importance of working with a dependable technology partner. A year after contracting with a well-known conglomerate to implement a managed network, Lifespan’s infrastructure upgrade was still in a holding pattern.
“We were still pending delivery of the circuit at one of our sites,” says Mr. McGinley. The provider couldn’t give me a good explanation for why, so we canceled that contract and went with ENA. Within six months we got all our circuits up and running on a much more robust network.”
The transition to ENA has empowered Lifespan Health to achieve its healthcare goals. “ENA provides a level of service we haven’t gotten from any other telecommunications vendor,” Mr. McGinley says. “ENA’s technicians really knew our area and offered an invaluable level of support.”
That external support has helped reduce the strain on Lifespan Health’s IT staff. With only three members on his team, Mr. McGinley says that external support frees his team to focus on other essential goals. “ENA has always been able to follow through on what it promises,” he concludes.
2. Dependable technology has empowered Lifespan to expand its healthcare offerings
“With ENA, we have very consistent service,” Mr. McGinley says. “We don’t have outages to speak of.”
Having reliable connectivity, he explains, has allowed Lifespan Health to offer more comprehensive healthcare services to more people: in fifteen years, Lifespan has more than tripled its sites and now cares for more than 14,000 patients.
Reliable connectivity has also expanded the kinds of care Lifespan Health can offer. For instance, the organization’s behavioral health counselor can now provide her services remotely to all her patients. This expansion into telehealth allows her to serve patients who may not wish to leave their homes—and allows her to do without sacrificing human connection.
Dependable connectivity has also made Lifespan Health’s administration more dynamic, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Reliable connectivity allows managers to meet weekly using Zoom,” says Mr. McGinley. “Even in these difficult circumstances, our managers are able to collaborate virtually and stay current on what’s going on with all other departments.”
3. Protecting patient data has been mission-critical
Lifespan Health has expanded its telehealth offerings without sacrificing patient privacy or data security. “Getting the network as secure as possible is one of our main goals,” says Mr. McGinley.
To achieve that goal, Lifespan Health decided to deploy ENA NetShield UTM, a unified threat management service that enables organizations to identify and mitigate threats at the core. “We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of ransomware and malware attacks,” explains Mr. McGinley, “but UTM has kept us safe and helps my team and me feel like we can rest a little easier.”
Mr. McGinley is also particularly excited about the ways that ENA’s UTM solution is evolving to help him and his team respond to new and emerging threats.
“I look forward to continued exploration of the UTM service,” he says. “All the network technology ENA provides has been up to the challenge.”