HWAN underpins the state wide rollout of advanced clinical and corporate applications and services, ensuring patient information can be safely stored and securely transferred when and where it is needed.
The main driver behind building the network was the need for increased performance and reliability of frontline clinical and real time applications such as the electronic medical record (eMR) systems and their electronic medication management (eMeds) functionality.
NSW Health needed its own dedicated network to connect individual health facilities across the state and support data exchange, multimedia such as voice and video as well as real-time streaming of data.
HWAN sought to deliver a bespoke suite of applications with streamlined services for each individual health facility.
Working with colleagues across the state, and multiple industry partners, eHealth NSW identified four key priorities for HWAN’s design:
- Access to Government Data Centres (GovDC): to support shifts towards ‘as a service’ models
- A private wide area network (WAN): dedicated virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) providing a multi-tenanted routing domain within the HWAN Core for individual health facilities
- A dedicated internet and extranet platform: A private virtual firewall across GovDC enabling secure connectivity to the Internet, DMZ and extranet
- Subscription to third-party extranet services: giving the ability for third-parties who service multiple health facilities to connect to HWAN and be delivered on-demand securely to any health facility across the state.
Offering high-speed performance and built-in resilience, HWAN was implemented across all NSW Health organisations over four years. By 2019 all local health districts had core connections in place.
Today, it plays an essential enabling role as a high-speed backbone for the delivery of clinical systems such as the eMR and eMeds, medical imaging and pathology reporting solutions.
Since its roll out the platform has achieved significant time savings, with application implementation processes reduced from an average of 600 hours to just 12 hours.
Future plans for HWAN include enhancing its existing infrastructure, security and intelligence capabilities; accelerating its support of cloud-based services; and collaborating with regional and rural local health districts to make improvements in response to their specific challenges.
Some of the many benefits of the HWAN Platform include:
- Increased agility: Reduced network delivery lead time, simplifies and accelerates deployment and improves performance
- Proven network experience: A focus on cyber security and network accessible resources, delivers a better user experience
- Enables Cloud adoption: Health facilities are connected to Cloud available services and public Internet with enterprise grade reliability and performance
- New levels of efficiency and versatility for managing third-party connectivity
- Enterprise grade solutions can be scaled to meet the demands of cross-facility interactions
- Standardised hardware with guaranteed maintenance/replacement
- Centralised management with secure access
- Flexibility for any Local Area Network (LAN) configuration
- 24/7 monitoring and alerts.