Network Solutions Group and QScan team up for Telstra Wholesale network resilience
QScan Radiology Clinics is a Diagnostic Medical Imaging & Interventional practice with over 80 radiology clinics across Australia, primarily in Queensland and New South Wales.
Every day, QScan clinics support Australian patients as a provider of essential medical imaging services; from diagnosing critical illnesses to musculoskeletal sports imaging and injury prevention.
With a focus on patient experience and wellbeing, QScan enlisted the expertise of Network Solutions Group (NetSG) to ensure their services are as dependable as possible. Working with Telstra Wholesale to deliver the Telstra network, NetSG is a partner-led Service Provider with a network reach across Australia and New Zealand. They have a suite of connectivity services ranging from data and voice to network engineering and management.
We spoke to Brendon Baglin, IT Manager at Qscan Radiology Clinics, to find out more about how QScan powers their connectivity through the Telstra network with Wholesale, and how network resilience and connectivity can make all the difference to when and how a patient gets seen on the front lines.
Where the network meets radiology
Brendon describes the availability and reliability of the network as critical to ensuring patients get the services they need, ranging from oncological diagnosis to injury rehabilitation.
“Our primary focus is keeping our doctors' systems online and working, which in turn, almost guarantees patient care.” Brendon says.
“We see hundreds to thousands of patients a day across the entire group. If we were to see any downtime, that creates significant impact to the operations of the business, where doctors can't report, patients can't be booked into the system, they can't be scanned on a CT or MRI scanner or receive an X-ray.”
When health is on the line
Any breach or drop in the network can have real rollover consequences for patients, especially time sensitive cases.
“Any delay that we're creating on streaming studies, poor connectivity and interruption, from a technical point of view; creates a potential risk or delay for that study being reported and going back to your referral. That's why we treat every bit of performance impact or downtime quite seriously, because the impacts actually have the potential to impact someone's life quite personally.”
“Imagine you've got a patient on a bench with a brain bleed and the delay is the network for getting that reported. That is likely to have happened in the past somewhere. That is something that's easily fixed and that's essentially what NetSG has come through and done for us.” Brendon explains.
NetSG’s work with QSscan has seen a collaborative, expert driven approach to increasing operational efficiency, all working together to help to ensure that doctors can see their patients without interruption and without delay.
“As we're going through simplifying our operations... less is more, fewer touchpoints, fewer breakpoints, the deeper integrations and bigger networks for us definitely makes sense. (NetSG) are the ones that will turn around and already know what we are thinking about or talking about, and have the solution ready to go in the back of their head,” Brendon confirms.
Patient care that reaches the last mile
Qscan has seen their clinic base almost quadruple from an initial 20 sites. With expanding coverage into regional areas, having connectivity that goes the extra mile can be the make-or-break factor. Brendon notes that for their IT function, being on the Telstra Wholesale network has provided the reach that extends further into the regions.
“So I think we've just almost completed now, a full upgrade of that entire nbn network, to Telstra fibre services in each one, because that's really the only path forward, especially in regional centers, [for] that decent connectivity, decent reach”.
“We haven't had a site that we haven't been able to get fibre to yet”, confirms Laura Veness, Director of Channel Success at NetSG.
In the past, Brendon says he experienced outages that could last up to 14 hours, taking clinic doctors and backend patient data offline. “Ironically, there was no resilience or redundant connection set up” he says. Now, with the help of NetSG and the Telstra Wholesale network, he says that improvements around the business have ranged from network architecture to proactive management and risk reduction.
“And from our point of view, it just makes our lives a whole lot easier knowing that, 'Hey, it's going to be reliable,’ and that the resilience that's built into CPEs, that... design just works.”
With an ever-expanding clinic base, new generation equipment increasing data consumption, and forays into Machine Learning (ML) and Telehealth in response to Covid-19, there’s plenty on the horizon for QScan.
Many of these initiatives have the potential to advance the accuracy and speed with which patients receive diagnoses, automatic ML matching being one.
“If you've been in before for a scan on your lungs for example, we'll go find the last scan that you had … and match them up so that when presenting to the radiologist, they don't have to match it manually.”
Baglin suggests that “something that a human might have missed on the bench when they're getting scanned, the computer [could] look at it and identify ‘someone should look at that now,’ and potentially even stop the patient from leaving the clinic or the hospital until that case is then reported.”
In a world where online health is increasingly a key part of overall treatment and there are more opportunities to have technology step in and change lives, it’s important that core networks are reliable, resilient and reach for the last mile. It'll be these foundational links that ensure patient care continues its rapid advances to ensure the best quality of treatment for our loved ones.