Recommend small medical practice network configuration

Posted on 2014-02-02
Last Modified: 2014-02-21
Hello, our small medical practice currently runs a peer to peer network.  I believe we may have outgrown this configuration and am looking for the simplest and least complex way to move forward.

Current config details:
1 physical office location, no vpn or remote access required
Comcast internet & phone
Watchguard xtm33 security appliance/router
Watchguard wap200 wireless
Cradlepoint CBR450 with Verizon4GLTE usb (WAN failover)
Cisco smartswitch
HP officepro X576dw multifunction wireless (used as fax/copy/printer)
Ricoh laserjet (wired network)
HP laserjet (wired network)

Typically running 10 laptops/tablets (Lenovo/wireless) and 3 desktops (Lenovo/wired) all Win7 and 3 to 5 idevices.

All of our office applications (practice management and EHR) are cloud based.
Symantec Endpoint Security (cloud based)

We don't need to share any files as we have very little need for local word/excel/etc documents.  Also very light backup needs as there is relatively small amount of local data.

We have a business google docs account with hosted email. Website hosted by GoDaddy.

MAAS360 installed on all PCs and most idevices.

2 laptops regularly travel with specified employees.

Expect user growth to be 1 to 5 users in next 2 years.  Also expect to implement digital xray imaging in 1 to 2 years (this will vastly increase local data storage and file sharing).

Would greatly appreciate any advice recommendations on next steps.
Question by:tacotimedemon
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Michael Ortega
ID: 39827940
If you very little local storage requirements now and everything is working as is, why do you feel you need to change things?

What challenges are you having? The local xray machine will likely come with a viewing station that will reside on the network as well. The xray machine itself will send DICOM images to the viewing system and the images will be stored locally on that system (or on the network on a server if you get one). Does your cloud based PM/EHR support uploading images to the patients chart? Something to consider because then even the local storage of images will simply be an additional copy.

As a means to more tightly manage our networks we always operate within a windows security domain and have at least a light weight Dell server (something like a R210 II for rackmount of a T320 tower) running Server 2012 (now 2012R2). This gives us the ability to centrally manage our client operating systems to ensure that passwords are secure, etc.

Something also to consider if you're concerned about legitimizing the practice is having a method of securely emailing patient information. Not sure how Google handles that requirement, but there are ton of SaaS solutions out there for email encryption, e.g. Symantec.Cloud (formerly Messagelabs), etc.


Author Comment

ID: 39828006
Thanks, my main concern is our ability to more easily ensure security protocols and guidelines.  We may also benefit from a more standard setup so that if I'm not available, we have a better situation for remote or local support options.  We are not experiencing any issues at the moment.

Our EHR supports image upload, but extra costs may be a factor.

We don't do much email, and never send patient information of any kind via email.

Are there any virtual or cloud based windows security domain options?  Our mechanical room is already quite tight, I'd hate to have to secure a server in there as well.
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

Michael Ortega earned 500 total points
ID: 39828043
So instead of implementing an on-premise server solution you're considering using something like IaaS (infrastructure as a service)?

Short answer is, yes.

There are hosting solutions out there that will provide server resources for you to do whatever you want with those resources. You could easily deploy a Windows 2012 domain controller and, if the service permits, setup a VPN connection between your clinic and the hosted solution. From there you can integrate a new security domain into your practice and administer it.

If you're looking for something like that, check with Rackspace. They are pretty mainstream and that's right up their alley. I don't use this platform for soliciting services, but if you'd like additional options the firm I represent provides the same services. I apologize ahead of time if my statement above conflicts with any usage agreements.


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