Latency, also known as "lag time," refers to the time it takes for data to transmit from one point to the next. A low-latency network or transmission experiences minimal delays, while a high-latency one experiences longer delays.
Latency can directly impact healthcare service delivery quality by creating slow and unreliable software, voice, and video user experiences. Latency can also slow down healthcare delivery in other ways, by stifling data transfers between cloud storage and diagnostic tools. It is possible to improve latency with upgraded networking equipment and performance tuning.
What is Considered "Low" Latency?
The distinction between "low" and "high" latency is somewhat relative, as a small practice that rarely communicates with outside networks will likely have a far greater tolerance for latency than a major hospital that relies on interaction with multiple networks for almost every action. You likely have latency issues if your team notices delayed emails, long page load times, poor application performance, or choppy VOIP/video calls.
How to Improve Latency
Reducing latency means either reducing the load on your network, reconfiguring the network, or upgrading your equipment so that you have a stronger, faster, and more reliable connection. The type of internet connection installed at your business has the single biggest impact on latency.
ADSL and cable connections are delivered through phone (copper) and cable (coaxial) lines. These connection types can work well when supporting smaller practices that don't require much voice or video network traffic.
Fiber-optic connections offer the fastest infrastructure available today and are appropriate for larger practices that need consistent, reliable, and fast Internet. Fiber is becoming more widely available but still has higher setup costs and is not available everywhere.
Once you understand the type of internet service available at your business, you must also consider how your equipment is connected to it. Even with a fast connection, latency will be higher if all your devices use WiFi (wireless) instead of being hard-wired to a port in the wall. Consulting with network engineers when making decisions can further improve your network performance.
How TempDev Can Help with Latency
TempDev's team of NextGen consultants, developers, and trainers support your needs whether you're looking to implement, switch, or even upgrade your current EHR system. From dashboards and revenue cycle consulting to automation and workflow redesign, TempDev offers the tools you need to make the most of your NextGen EHR system, with top tips and tricks that will ensure your success now and in the future.
With TempDev's NextGen dashboards, templates, and reports, you can better support your patients' needs. Our team is here to help you design, organize, and implement the whole system and is on hand to offer tips and guidance based on industry best practices.
Contact us here or by calling us at 888.TEMP.DEV to get the help you need with understanding how performance issues are impacting your practice.
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