The acceleration of medical device digitization has led to an explosion in the number of new devices on the Fukui-Ken Hospital network. Cisco DNA Center provides the solution for policy, security, and assurance.
IT departments everywhere are dealing with the explosion of new devices and users on the campus network. Provisioning, securing, and maintaining performance of constantly growing networks is daunting for us all. Hospitals are probably the most affected by this because of the sheer number of healthcare and life-saving devices that they require. The Fukui-ken Saiseikai Hospital, located in Fukui City, Japan has deployed Cisco DNA Center in order to accelerate their digital transformation with greater efficiency.
“As more data and more devices are being utilized in the medical field and in management, it is essential to be able to respond to IT needs faster, reduce operating costs, improve efficiency, and increase security.”
—Masaru Tiakeuchi, Medical Information Division Section Leader
Mr. Masaru Takeuchi, Medical Information Division Section Leader, defined the hospital’s challenges as a lack of visibility and control over network access as well as inconsistent IT staff proficiency in managing complex network issues and troubleshooting. Mr. Takeuchi outlines that Cisco DNA Center, with Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) addressed all of their challenges from policy and security, to automation and orchestration and, of course, assurance. He knew that automating the lifecycle management would result in greater IT efficiencies, but he wanted to first focus on a stable, well performing infrastructure: “First we are going to build the reliable infrastructure that is necessary for automation. The implementation of Cisco DNA Center provides real-time visualization. By constantly monitoring and analyzing the health of the entire network to quickly identify signs of trouble, it is possible to take proactive measures, thereby enhancing assurance.
The Fukui-ken hospital IT staff focused on setting up network access controls and threat detection, in compliance with their security policies. This is done via the policy section of Cisco DNA Center where endpoints are categorized into groups and each group is given a set of policies that determine what types of data traffic and network resources that endpoint can access. Once their policies were set up, Cisco DNA Center simply updates policies in all switches, wireless controllers, access points, and routers. Policies follow users and endpoints, so there is no more need for ultra-complex QoS and IP-based segmentation.
Now the team can focus on operating a policy-based, zero-trust infrastructure. Doing this is a cinch with Cisco DNA Assurance, one of the main features in Cisco DNA Center. As I noted above, there was inconsistency in the IT staff proficiency in managing complex network issues and troubleshooting. Meaning that some of the level-one engineers did not have the experience to diagnose complex issues without consulting a more experienced staff member. When Cisco DNA Assurance raises a network “Issue” it then offers guided remediation on steps to resolve that issue (see screenshot below). Any suggestion that can be resolved through a Cisco DNA Center configuration will have a “RUN” button next to it, for one-click resolution. This allows level-one engineers to fix complex network challenges quickly and independently. It also serves as a platform for learning as each issue that is remediated provides greater experience and, ultimately, improved network literacy.
“The control console of Cisco DNA Center detected a malfunction in a wireless access point, and the investigation found that it was down due to poor contact of a power cable. Until now, identifying the causes of complaints has been difficult. Cisco DNA Center provides strong responses regarding the speed of correspondence and failure protection.”
—Hiroki Tanaka, Medical Information Division Operations Leader
As the Fukui-ken hospital IT team grow their network they plan on implementing more capabilities within Cisco DNA Center. Enabling AI/ML analytics will allow them to compare wireless service areas and locate opportunities for Wi-Fi service improvement. Cisco DNA Automation will provide time savings for device lifecycle management and improve consistency in device configuration. Cisco DNA Center is a full-featured intent-based network controller that brings the elements of security, automation, and assurance together for a complete operations and management platform. As Fukui-ken Hospital decides to integrate these additional capabilities into Cisco DNA Center their existing Cisco DNA Advantage subscription gives them immediate access to deploy and use those new capabilities on their existing hardware.
The trend in modern hospitals is the acceleration of medical device digitization and the reduction in on-site operational staff. The Fukui-ken hospital IT team is building a campus network to support this trend and take them into the next phase of healthcare.
Read details on the technical implementation in the complete Fukui-ken Saiseikai Hospital customer story.