Cybersecurity provides the foundation for innovation in a modern hospital; it is the underlying capability that enables the safe sharing of information.

The free availability of information, where and when it is needed, is a powerful force for enabling new, more effective and efficient models of care to be created. But, in the highly confidential and risk-sensitive environment of a hospital, the initial tendency is to isolate and confine information in an effort to secure it.

However, developing the capability to secure information on an individual user, location and device basis enables information to be precisely targeted to where it is needed, dramatically expanding the availability of information throughout all the staff and patients.


The implementation of Cisco’s Identity Security Engine (ISE) at Sydney’s Westmead Children’s hospital highlights the impact of this type of capability. With the hospital’s implementation of Cerner’s medication management product, the question raised was how they could best make use of this service.

The response was to make the medication management capability available wherever it is needed, so that clinicians could truly transform clinical process, improving both patient outcomes and staff convenience. To do this meant making information available not only on hospital terminals, tied to fixed desks, but also on hospital and non-hospital owned mobile computing devices. In doing this, the medication management process could be truly formed around the needs of the patient, rather than being limited by where the information is available.

Having enabled this capability for the secure and precise delivery of information, the hospital is now looking at using the ISE service to innovate in other key areas, including the delivery of patient portals and clinical video conferencing.


From this experience, it is clear that the focus of cybersecurity is not just about protection and risk mitigation, but it is about driving innovation. It is about creating an agile hospital better able to evolve to meet the needs of the community that it supports.

To learn more about Westmead Children’s Hospital’s implementation of Cisco technology, see the full case study here.


Brendan Lovelock

Health Practice Lead

Cisco Australia